Game of Thrones Finale Is Expected to Kill Workplace Productivity on Monday


The series finale of Game of Thrones is coming and employers should be very afraid Absence is Coming.

According to a new survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated conducted by The Harris Poll, Sunday’s long-awaited Game of Thrones (GoT) finale will create the biggest storm of workplace disruption since The Super Bowl. Kronos is a provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions.

A full one-third (34%) of employed U.S. adults who participated in the survey say they plan to watch the series finale Sunday night, which would make it one of the 10 most watched series finales in television history. The fate of Westeros will have real world consequences, too, with an estimated 27.2 million(2) U.S. employees admitting GoT’s conclusion will potentially have a direct impact on their work obligations.

The “Absence is Coming” survey was conducted online from May 7-9, 2019 among 1,090 employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older on behalf of The Workforce Institute at Kronos by The Harris Poll. All percentages cited are based directly from survey results and U.S. census data.

The conclusion of _Game of Thrones _could be as disastrous to America’s workplaces on Monday morning as it will likely be to some of your favorite characters. According to the poll:

Approximately 27.2 million employees who plan to watch the Game of Thrones finale live admit they will either miss work completely, arrive late, work remotely, be less productive than usual, or experience another impact on work obligations Monday because of the series finale of the most popular show in HBO history.

Based on the survey’s predictions, approximately 10.7 million Americans are already planning to take the day off from work completely while 2.9 million are planning to show up late.

An estimated 10.7 million(3) American employees who plan to watch the finale say they will skip work so that they can witness who ascends to the Iron Throne and celebrate or cope with the aftermath, including 5.8 million(4) employees who typically work Sunday nights but plan to use a vacation day, sick day, or personal day to watch the finale live.

About 2.9 million(5) Americans plan to show up late to work Monday morning, while 3.4 million(6) will work remotely even though they usually do not.

One in five Game of Thrones viewers (21%) plan to watch the finale away from their home.

Game of Thrones’ final act: Burning productivity to the ground

The final season of Game of Thrones has spoiled productivity to date, with 20.4 million(7) employees admitting that watching the current season has affected their attendance and/or performance at work, including 4.4 million(8) employees who have missed work specifically to stream re-runs to refresh their memory on key plotlines or catch up on missed episodes.

Game of Thrones has given new meaning to the “Sunday Scaries,” as 7.3 million(9) employees admit they have called out sick, taken a personal day, or used a vacation day to miss work on a Monday specifically because they watched Game of Thrones the night before.

Even when they are supposed to be working, many fans say their minds are still in Westeros: 12.7 million(10) employees watching the current season say they spend five or more hours per week talking about, reading about, or posting online about Game of Thrones, while another 16.5 million(11) admit they’ve spent between one and four hours doing the same.

A staggering 35.8 million(12) employees have spent at least one hour per week of company time this season talking about, reading about, or posting online about Game of Thrones, even if they don’t actively watch the show.

Employees would bend the knee to Jon Snow, House Stark as their workplace leader
Of this season’s most-likely characters to occupy the Iron Throne, one in four employees watching the current season of Game of Thrones (28%) say they would most want Jon Snow to be their manager.

Tyrion Lannister was voted the second most-popular would-be manager (12%), with the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, ranked third (9%). Shockingly, even Cersei Lannister received a few votes, with 2% of fans apparently okay with being managed by fear.

Overall, most employees would prefer their manager come from House Stark (43%) versus House Lannister (17%), with Arya Stark (7%) receiving the second-most votes for the North.

Adds Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos, 
“What do we say to the God of Absence? Not today — or at least organizations can if they embrace, not avoid, a cultural phenomenon like the Game of Thrones series finale.

Empower employees with flexible schedules and the ability to request time off or swap shifts from anywhere, at any time so they can enjoy moments that matter in their lives, and don’t be shy to use pop culture common ground to build camaraderie with employees and managers. In fact, the ‘Absence is Coming’ survey also found that a third of employees (33%) use TV shows and events to build closer relationships with colleagues and supervisors. Open the lines of communication with your employees, use the right tools to simplify scheduling, and have a playbook to incorporate these events, when appropriate, into your engagement strategy.”


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