Culture & Engagement, Employee Relations, Just for Fun

When Super Bowl Side-Effects Hit The Workplace

group of multicultural friends with beer bottles watching american football match

As the finale to the NFL’s historic 100th Season, the matchup for Super Bowl LIV has been set as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers prepare to face off on February 2nd in Miami.

Continuously the most-watched television event in the United States, the Super Bowl draws over 100 million viewers annually with nearly twice as many social media impressions over the course of the broadcast. Also famous for its over-the-top halftime shows and high-production commercials, the buzz surrounding the big game will live on as water cooler chatter in the days following the event.

While broadcasters will be raking in millions in ad revenue, US employers are set to lose up to $3 billion in revenue due to absenteeism and a distracted workforce in response to the game.

According to “The Super Bowl Fever Survey” commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos and conducted by The Harris Poll: an estimated 17 million US employees will be absent from work the day following the game and an additional 22.5 million employees will be arriving late, leaving early, or working from home altogether.

While some companies have gone as far as blocking employee access to sports news sites and fantasy football applications on work devices, such prohibitive behavior is unnecessary and can even have an adverse impact on employee morale. While some level of distraction is inevitable, here are some simple ways to lessen the negative workplace side-effects of the Super Bowl:

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: While it’s unlikely Super Bowl Monday will ever be considered a national holiday, employers can still gain productivity from overly-celebratory employees by allowing flexible scheduling and remote work options.

Offer Company-Sponsored Events: Hosting a potluck, chili-cook off, or other team event is an easy way to boost morale and give employees a specific avenue to socialize about the game. Hosting events or encouraging employees to sport their team colors create friendly rivalries and give employees a tradition to look forward to year after year.

Treat Major Distractions: While a bit of chatter about the game can be beneficial to morale, major disruptions should be addressed like any other performance issue on an individual basis versus implementing company-wide bans on activities.

While only one team can claim the championship title and take home the Lombardi Trophy, you can still ensure that your team will be on the top of their game in the days to come.

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