With all the conflict in American politics these days, many people are no doubt looking forward to the distraction provided by the Super Bowl and its always entertaining commercials. Nearly 112 million people tuned into the big game last year.
All those Super Bowl parties, however, have a cost at work the next day, as employees roll into the office late or spend extra time at the water cooler chatting about the match.
That time adds up to more than $1.7 billion in lost productivity, according to a new report from outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. That reflects more than $290 million in lost wages for every 10 minutes spent by employees setting up pools, watching highlights or talking about the game.
At least one large company has a plan to avoid the problems that tend to occur that day. Kraft Heinz has announced that it will give all its salaried American employees Super Bowl Monday off this year. The company is betting it will get more publicity from that decision than it would by purchasing an ad during the game.
Employers who don’t want to follow that example may want to consider taking other steps to help their employees on Monday. Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, suggests letting workers come in an hour late or hosting a lunch that day to give them a chance to discuss the game.
“The bottom line is that the Super Bowl generally has a positive impact on the economy as a whole and gathering workers together for any reason, especially a huge shared event, is always great for morale,” he said in a statement.