Monday, January 25, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday, Hangover Monday

The teams are all set for the Super Bowl - We've got the New Orleans Saints vs. the Indianapolis Colts. Did you make Super Bowl party plans with your co-workers yet? Did you buy some squares for your office pool? Get some online trash-talking in with your friends via email or total strangers on Well STOP IT! You're destroying the U.S. economy! OK, that's a little melodramatic, and I don't want to be a buzzkill (I'm probably just bitter about the Steelers' dismal season), but the Super Bowl seriously does create some problems for employers.

In The Wild, the Innocent, and the Super Bowl Shuffle (appearing via HR Hero, excerpted from Kansas Employment Law Letter), Boyd Byers provides employers with some helpful tips for handling the lost productivity of the Super Bowl. Apparently, a consulting firm estimates that U.S. employers lose $850 million in lost productivity the week before the Super Bowl and another $150 million in "unproductive wages" the day following the Super Bowl.
"This estimate is based on the assumption that the average employee spends 10 minutes a workday talking about the game, planning parties, participating in betting pools, or engaging in other Super Bowl-related distractions."
And then top it off with an additional 1.5 million "sick" days that Monday.

The article advises that employers keep the gambling in check and plan in advance as much as possible. Employees seldom plan hangovers and policy probably prohibits calling in "sick" a week in advance. If employers can get them to plan ahead though, more power to them.

It's not all bad. The article also advocates the "camaraderie" aspect of the whole ordeal. Or, there's always the "make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday" route... good luck with that.