By: Paul McGee on January 30th, 2020

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What if Super Bowl Monday Became a Paid Holiday?

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Over the years as an HR practitioner and consultant, I’ve observed many companies trying to come up with unique ways to help lost productivity in the workplace.  I think there are two simple solutions to combat this challenge:
  1. We rethink paid holidays and offer one per month. On average, most companies are providing between 8-14 paid holidays per year. Just think about the impact it could make if employees knew they were going to get consistent downtime each month for their mental health.
  2. Make the Monday after the Super Bowl a new holiday. That's right, I said it. Hear me out...I'm not just a Chief's fan. : )

Since the Super Bowl was changed to a 6:30 pm start time, there have been many complaints that the game ends too late (around 10 pm EST), and thus affects productivity at work the next day. 

I'm not the only one who has suggested to make Super Bowl Monday an American Holiday or even move it to another day. Andy Nesbitt wrote a USA Today opinion piece, appropriately titled, “It is time to change the Super Bowl to Saturday.”  Nesbitt argues the Super Bowl on Sunday night is “neither convenient nor as enjoyable as it could be.”  Nesbitt also says, “These days we have Thursday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Saturday Night Football (late in the season) as well as many playoff games on Saturday.” 

Sure, opponents of this could easily argue that Saturday night is a typical night to go out on the town thus impacting the Super Bowl's massive ratings.

I suggest a new idea.

How about giving the owners what they want, which is two more weeks of football in the regular season? 

Instead of the first Sunday in February, move the Super Bowl to the third Sunday in February and combine the Monday after Super Bowl and President’s Day as the National Holiday. 

Studies have shown that Super Bowl Monday is one of the lowest work productivity days of the year, ranking up there in productivity with the first week of March Madness basketball (the first Thursday and Friday games). 

According to Bleacher Reports, JoeSportsFan, here are the seven least productive workdays of the year:

  1. Thursday of the first day of March Madness, the NCAA Basketball Tournament
  2. Friday, the second day of the NCAA tournament
  3. Day after the Super Bowl
  4. First day of Major League Baseball playoff season
  5. Opening day of the MLB season
  6. First day of the company softball team
  7. The day before a Fantasy draft

Also, President’s Day, like Columbus Day, seems to be disappearing off the list of company holidays.  Why not bring it back in style with a President’s Day/Day after Super Bowl Holiday and extend the football season for all you NFL nuts?

As for Holidays, I think a revamp is in order in the United States.  The most desired Holidays given to employees include:

  • Jan 1 (New Year’s Day)
  • Third Monday in January (Martin Luther King’s Birthday)- some observe
  • Third Monday in February (President’s Day)- some observe
  • 4th Monday in May (Memorial Day)
  • July 4th (Independence Day)
  • First Monday in September (Labor Day)
  • Second Monday in October (Columbus Day)- some observe
  • November 11th (Veteran’s Day)- some observe
  • Fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Day after Thanksgiving- most observe
  • December 25 (Christmas Day)

This may be a little too progressive for some, but my holiday revamp would look like this:

  • January 1 (New Year's Day)
  • Third Monday in January (Martin Luther King’s Birthday)
  • Third week in February (President’s Day/Super Bowl Monday Holiday)
  • March Holiday (Good Friday/or Easter Monday if Easter is in March or Spring Arrival Holiday)
  • April Holiday (Good Friday or Easter Monday if in April or Spring Arrival Holiday)
  • May Holiday (Memorial Day)
  • June Holiday (Summer Arrival Holiday)
  • July Holiday (July 4-Independence Day)
  • August Holiday (Dog Days of Summer)
  • September Holiday (Labor Day)
  • October Holiday (Columbus Day)
  • November Holiday (Thanksgiving Day)
  • December Holiday (Christmas Day)

Companies are trying to guard against employee burnout these days by enhancing the employee experience to get their return on investment.  Why not guarantee them a one holiday a month? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the idea!