About post-Super Bowl, Valentine's Day productivity

<p>Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette</p> <p>Lisa Green&nbsp;</p>

Good luck with productivity on Monday, employers.

You do realize, of course, it's Super Bowl weekend and the Sunday night game will be followed by Valentine's Day.

Workers will still be talking, texting and messaging on Monday about the outcome of Sunday's matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams. They'll be talking about the over-the-top and comical commercials. They'll be talking about the halftime show. And some procrastinators will likely be using work time to find last-minute Valentine's Day gifts -- maybe starting their day later or checking out earlier.

The potential estimated cost of this -- $6.5 billion, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a business and executive coaching firm that regularly releases studies and workplace-related projections.

But, be nice.

“It’s a great excuse for employers to show some leniency to their teams, particularly those who work in-person,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president with the Illinois-based global firm.

In a news release this week, Challenger, Gray & Christmas cited the millions of football fans.

Last year’s Super Bowl had just 96.4 million viewers, the fewest since 2007, when 93.1 million viewers watched the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Chicago Bears, according to ViacomCBS.

The news release also said the NFL reported a 10% increase in viewership on average for the season from 2021, according to an analysis in Forbes. Applying that 10% increase to 2021 viewership, Challenger predicts this year’s Super Bowl will draw 106.04 million viewers.

Viewership in the Fort Wayne area is likely to be high because of two players with local ties -- the Bengals' Jessie Bates III, a 2015 Snider High School graduate, and the Rams' Ben Skowronek, a 2016 Homestead High School graduate.

Based on overall projected viewership, employment and population data and applying the average hourly wage, the firm released its cost impact for Super Bowl weekend.

According to a 2021 survey conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, 16.1 million Americans reported they were likely not going to work on the Monday after the Super Bowl.

This figure, multiplied times the average daily hours worked in January (6.9), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the average hourly wage of $31.63 in January 2022, results in $3.5 billion in lost productivity. Add two hours of distracted working for the other 47 million estimated employed NFL fans, and that's how Challenger suggests the cost balloons to $6.5 billion.

Challenger points out that the Super Bowl is a "shared experience that many are looking forward to."

Employers can "use the game as a way to make sure their remote teams stay engaged in an era when workers have their pick of jobs," Challenger said in a statement. "Similarly among in-person staff, especially with Valentine’s Day, giving workers extra breaks, or allowing them to come in a bit later or leave earlier when possible, will go a long way to building camaraderie and morale."

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at lisagreen@jg.net. Lead On also appears as a column in The Journal Gazette's Sunday Business section.