Super Bowl Could Cost Businesses $4.4 Billion in Lost Productivity

The Monday following Super Bowl Sunday is the nearest thing Americans have to an unofficial national holiday. The cost to employers for workers who take Monday off comes to an estimated $2.64 billion. Add that to the estimated $1.72 billion cost of time employees spend talking about the game in the week leading up to the game, and U.S. businesses are losing $4.4 billion in productivity, according to a report Monday morning from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Last year, an estimated 13.9 billion U.S. workers stayed home on Super Bowl Monday, more than 10% of the estimated 103 million Americans who watched Super Bowl LII, according to Kronos’s Workplace Institute. A similar number is expected to stay home this year.

Challenger, Gray Vice president Andrew Challenger predicts that many of these unplanned absences will occur in New England and Los Angeles, the home locations of this year’s Super Bowl teams.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reckons that there are 6.2 million workers employed in Los Angeles, earning an average weekly wage of $1,177. If each of those employees spends just one hour on Monday discussing the previous day’s game, the lost productivity would amount to $212 million.

Challenger suggests that perhaps an employer’s best course of action is just to get over it. Employees are going to spend some time talking about the big plays and the best ads and planning a day-after event may be a big plus for morale and, eventually, productivity.

And the U.S. economy can withstand the jolt says Challenger:

Consumers spend a lot of money celebrating large sporting events that give people an excuse to come together. This spending will stimulate the economy more than a few hours of lost productivity will actively hurt it.