Super Bowl Sunday is an American cultural icon. Millions of people throughout the country (including many of your employees) will gather with friends and family to eat and drink too much while cheering on their favorite team, or enjoying the commercials. Whether you’re part of that group, in HR, or both, you’re probably also familiar with the concept of “Smunday,” even if you’ve never heard of the word.
Smunday, as dubbed by Kraft Heinz, is the day after the Super Bowl. The word itself sounds like how many Americans feel going into the office the day after the big game: stale, sluggish and, yes, hungover. For HR professionals, Smunday also evokes dread as employees call in sick and drag themselves into the office to pass off a sub-par work day.
Studies show that the national lost productivity after a major sporting event like the Super Bowl equates to $820 million. 1.5 million people call in sick and an additional 4.4 million show up to the office late.
Kraft Heinz’s answer to Smunday? Give employees the day off. That’s right. This year, all of Kraft Heinz’s salaried employees will have the day off following the Super Bowl. This is a savvy move on the company’s part to win some valuable press. Rather than pay the $5m+ per 30 seconds for a Super Bowl ad, the company hopes “that this ‘stunt’ will drum up as much, if not more, publicity than an ad during the game,” reports The Hustle. The company is even going so far as to petition to make Smunday an official holiday.
PR stunts aside, it’s worth considering how your company will address Smunday. Not every company can (or should) shut down for the day. But consider the money your company could save and the productivity it could gain by giving employees the ability to work-from-home (WFH) that day. Making the day after major holidays or sports games a WFH day can benefit any organization, whether it be a Fortune 500 company or a state/local agency.
How to Enable WFH Days
Garnering the endorsement from e-staff and communicating the policy isn’t enough. The key to successfully implementing the occasional WFH day is to have the proper technology solutions in place ahead of time. Collaboration tools like instant messenger, a project management platform, and HD voice and enterprise video conferencing solutions can make the home office just as productive (if not more so) than the office cubicle.
Consider, for example, a video conferencing solution, which enables employees to meet face-to-face, regardless of where they are located. Even if employees don’t feel well enough to make it into the office, they can still participate in conference calls. Managers will feel more at ease with the policy when they can actually see their staff working. And you’ve got to admit: It’s a lot easier to deal with a mandatory all-hands meeting on Monday in your pajama bottoms, especially when your boss is none the wiser.
A video conferencing solution also enables employees to collaborate with each other as opportunities arise. With the touch of a button, employees can video call one another and discuss the matter at hand and, let’s face it, who won the game. The point is, though, they can have the same discussion they’d have at their cubicles or around the coffee pot with the ability to share content in real time.
Companies can’t change the fact that major sports games and holidays occasionally fall on a Sunday—or the fact that productivity will suffer for it on Monday. But you can help your employees be more productive by allowing them to work from home. Smart HR leaders will partner with IT to implement the technologies ahead of time so that their workforce never drops the ball.