Post-Game Report: 10% of Your Team Sidelined

unscheduled absences

Monday morning post Super Bowl and there are four things you can be sure of: some people loved the halftime show; some people didn't; there's still debate about who won the commercials. Oh... and there was a football game.

There's one more thing: according to a recent Workforce report: a sizeable portion of your workforce didn't show up this morning.

It’s Monday Morning: Do You Know Where Your Workforce Is?

Yes, folks, according to one study, about 17 million of your people will be taking their Super Bowl celebration into overtime today; maybe more if you're celebrating in New England (again).

As unscheduled "sick" days go, Super Bowl Flu isn't the weirdest. That award would go to the top excuse on a CareerBuilder roundup of oddest reasons to call in sick: "I accidentally got on a plane."

And Sports Flu, by the way, isn't limited to the US. Some years ago, the third most popular sick day up north was when Canada played Latvia in the Olympics at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Not surprisingly, Sports Fever isn't the only reason people call in sick. A few other popular reasons for skipping work:

It's the day after Thanksgiving: somebody's gotta help finish the leftovers (the most popular post-holiday sick day, by the way).

It's snowing: even if employees want to come in, their houseful of happy-dancing kids says otherwise.

It's parent/teacher conference day: helpfully scheduled at 1:30 p.m.

It's Monday: self-explanatory (most popular sick day in both the U.S. and the U.K., by the way).

It's Friday: the opposite of Monday (the second most-popular sick day in the U.S.).

It's the day after Labor Day or Memorial Day: because the only thing worse than Monday is a Tuesday that feels like a Monday.

They have the flu: yes, people really do get sick.

Some of the above can't be fixed (doctors are still working on the cure for Monday); some you can (if we haven't mentioned it, we're big fans of back-up care). But since unscheduled absences cost employers 50% more than planned absences, it's probably a good idea to try and knock the curable ones off the list. One suggestion: since working parents told our Modern Family Index they'd rather lie to the boss than fess up about things like parent/teacher conferences (they think they'll get fired), we suggest having some conversations about why taking time for families is OK. And since burnout is another issue they told us about, an epidemic of Monday-itis might mean it's time to do a status-check on your workforce's work/life balance equation.

As for that person who got on the plane by accident: we have no cure for that one. We only hope he/she eventually made it back home.

Congrats, Pats!

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

February 4, 2019

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.