Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters


Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details

Back to log in

About A Million Workers Are Expected To Call In Sick Today To Watch The World Cup

World CupFriedemann Vogel / Getty ImagesA fan of USA looks on before the World Cup match.

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.

Visier, a workforce analytics company, found that approximately 3.4 million U.S. employees are absent from work on any given day, according to the Department of Labour and Training.

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:

Screen Shot 2014 06 26 at 9.58.14 AMussoccer / Twitter

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.