Skipping work for Sports

skipping work

Skipped Work Lately?

More Than One-Third of Professionals in Canada Know Someone Who’s Skipped Work the Day After a Major Sports Event

Employee absenteeism after major sports events like the Super Bowl is on the rise. In fact, calling in sick or making an excuse for not going to the office following a big game is the top distracting behavior, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

More than one-third of professionals (37 per cent) know someone who’s called in sick or made an excuse for skipping work following a big game. In a separate survey, senior managers identified playing hooky the day after (46 per cent) as the most distracting or annoying employee behaviour when it comes to sports, a 24-point jump from a similar survey in 2017.

“While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of major sports events, employees need to anticipate their game-day activities and plan ahead to ensure it doesn’t interfere with their work,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district director for OfficeTeam. “By requesting time off in advance, adhering to company guidelines for fan attire or decorations and saving game discussions for their breaks, workers can still get into the spirit without impacting productivity.”

Employers may also want to consider easing up on their staff following a big event by offering flexible scheduling and organizing friendly contests or group celebrations, which can help build team camaraderie, and encourage greater engagement overall, Vasilopoulos added.

The online surveys, developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms, included responses from more than 1,000 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada and more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada. OfficeTeam is a Robert Half company.

Results of the Surveys

Workers were asked, “Do you know anyone who’s called in sick or made an excuse for skipping work the day after a sporting event, such as the Super Bowl?” Their responses:

Yes 37%
No 63%

Senior managers were asked, “Which of the following is the most distracting or annoying employee behaviour when it comes to major sporting events?”
Their responses:

  • Calling in sick or making an excuse for skipping work the day after 46%
  • Spending too much time talking sports 18%
  • Showing up the day after tired or under the weather 18%
  • Being a poor sport or overly competitive 12%
  • Overdoing it with team decorations or attire 6%