LOWELL, Mass. ,

A new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated and conducted by The Harris Poll estimates that 17.2 million1 employed U.S. adults may miss work the day after Super Bowl LIII – making Monday, Feb. 4 the largest-ever anticipated day of Super Bowl-related absenteeism since The Workforce Institute at Kronos began tracking this phenomenon in 2005.2

The “Super Bowl Fever survey” was conducted online from Jan. 9-11, 2019 among 1,107 employed U.S. adults aged 18 and older. All percentages cited are based directly from survey results, while population estimates have been extrapolated based on survey results and the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, which found there are 156.9 million employed people aged 18 and older in the U.S.

News Facts

  • More Americans than ever may skip work on Monday after the Super Bowl.
    • An estimated 17.2 million American workers say they may not go to work the Monday after Super Bowl LIII. The record-setting number surpasses the previous high estimate reported by The Workforce Institute at Kronos of 16.5 million workers in 2016 for Super Bowl 503.
    • 8 million4 workers reported they would be taking a pre-approved day off. However, 4.7 million5 will take a last-minute sick day even though they are not actually sick, including 6 percent of those in the manufacturing/construction industry, 5 percent of medical facility/hospital employees, 3 percent of office workers, and 1 percent of retail/food service/hospitality associates.
    • Nearly 22 million employees may go into work late (3.1 million6), leave early (6.3 million7), or simply work remotely/from home (12.5 million8) on Monday. An additional 9.4 million9 were undecided about their Super Bowl Monday work plans.
  • Bosses are especially susceptible to Super Bowl Fever, yet it’s younger employees who have the most anxiety about work the next day.
    • More than a third of senior-level/executive leaders (36 percent) say they may not work their normal hours on Super Bowl Monday compared to just a fifth (20 percent) of junior and mid-level employees.
    • Bosses may have a better sense of humor about an empty workplace on Monday, too: nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of senior-level/executive leaders admit they think it’s funny when co-workers call out sick the day after the Super Bowl when they suspect they’re not actually sick, compared to approximately half (51 percent) of junior and mid-level employees.
    • The Super Sunday Scaries are real: 45 percent of employees aged 18-34 confess they are more likely to have anxiety about going back to work the Monday after the Super Bowl than any other Sunday during the year, which is the highest among any age group.10
  • Have a game plan: 68 percent of U.S. workers know the day after the Super Bowl is the #1 sick day of the year, perhaps why many call for a national holiday.
    • The New England Patriots have been to four of the last five Super Bowls, which may be why 76 percent of employees in the Northeast are aware that the Monday after the Super Bowl is the biggest sick day of the year compared with 67 percent in the South and 63 percent in the West. 67 percent of employees in the Midwest are aware it is the biggest sick day of the year.
    • One in three American workers (32 percent) believe the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday, including 41 percent of those aged 18-34 versus just 23 percent of those aged 55-64.
    • In fact, two out of five (41 percent) employees aged 18-34 say they’d rather work on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) than the Monday after the Super Bowl.

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
    “This year marks the largest anticipated day of Super Bowl-related absenteeism we’ve seen since The Workforce Institute at Kronos began tracking this phenomenon in 2005. Both employees and their bosses continue to play hooky the day after The Big Game. Yet many younger employees report feeling more anxious about this Monday than any other Monday of the year, suggesting they do not feel comfortable having an open and honest conversation with their manager. Organizations that are transparent about staffing needs, consider innovative scheduling solutions to help employees arrange coverage with co-workers, and plan engagement-boosting activities related to the game – and other major cultural events – will deliver better business outcomes throughout the entire year.”

Supporting Resources


About The Workforce Institute at Kronos

The Workforce Institute at Kronos provides research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing together thought leaders, The Workforce Institute at Kronos is uniquely positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of The Workforce Institute’s research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional information, visit www.workforceinstitute.org.

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