Almost a million workers are expected to call in “sick” today — or take the day off — to watch the much anticipated U.S.-Germany World Cup game.
That number is expected to rise to 4.3 million today — about 939,042 more than usual.
To calculate this number, Visier looked at the average “unscheduled absenteeism” rate and their own research from the 2010 Winter Olympics, where they found that absenteeism is typically 28% higher during a major sporting event.
Companies are responding to the loss of their employee’s attention in various ways. Many hospitals, for instance, are “tightening up” and turning off monitors to prevent staff from getting distracted, which could reduce the quality of care.
Meanwhile, others are embracing the event.
An advertising agency in Toronto, for example, has rented out a bar for the month of the World Cup.
Dave Weisbeck, chief strategy officer at Visier, says the absenteeism associated with “major outbreaks such as avian flu and SAARS is lesser than absenteeism related to major sporting events.” So, he says, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Weisbeck notes that HR analytics can make the case for why giving people one to two hours at work to watch a game is better than losing a whole day of productivity. “What you may find is many people stay late to cover their tasks for the day, or that work gets done quicker based on the buzz of a shared experience,” he says.
If your employer isn’t embracing this eventful day, you can always try handing in this note that U.S. Soccer jokingly tweeted: