Prior to the pandemic lockdowns hitting the U.S. in 2020, the number of Americans who said they expected to miss work the Monday after the Super Bowl that year hit a record high of 17.5 million, according to the Workforce Institute at Kronos’ annual “Super Bowl fever” survey at the time.

But now that hybrid work is commonplace, fresh data indicates opting to work from home is the new “calling in sick” – and that has information technology professionals bracing for a surge in help desk calls this Super Bowl Monday.

A survey released last week by IT management platform Atera found 41% of hybrid workers plan to work remotely the day after the Super Bowl. Of those, 27% said they will tell their manager they are not feeling well and don’t want to get others sick, while 25% plan to tell their supervisors they have an appointment that day such as a doctor’s visit as their reason for not coming into the office.

As such, IT workers are expecting a host of issues that day.

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Three quarters of IT managers told Atera they expect Super Monday to be the busiest day of the year for remote issues, and 81% said they feel pressure to be online that day to help their colleagues with any tech problems that arise.

employee at desk, stressed

Non-IT workers admit they’ll probably need the help, too. Of those workers who are remote or hybrid, 31% say they are more likely to need IT support when working remotely. 

It is likely at least some hybrid workers will choose to work from home rather than burn a sick day or vacation day, as many do not plan on feeling their best the day after the Super Bowl. Even a decent chunk of workers who plan on showing up to the office predict their day might be rough. 

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The survey found 31% expect to be groggy, 28% are likely to be hungover, and 26% admit they probably won’t be productive. More than 32% of respondents said they expect to get less work done than usual.

Still, most respondents say they expect the IT staff to be on top of things that day. Sixty-four percent of workers said it is unacceptable for IT professionals to be slow to respond on the Monday after the Super Bowl.

man sleeping with hand on laptop keyboard at home

But IT professionals see their biggest headache being more remote workers using personal devices rather than those issued from work, and nearly 30% expect “drinks spilt on laptops” to be a top ticket issue during Super Bowl Monday.

“IT professionals are used to constant demand, but the data show that the big game is going to create an unprecedented influx of tickets,” Atera CEO Gil Pekelman told FOX Business. “Our research indicates today’s workforce is ‘calling in remote’ instead of sick – and that is putting immense pressure on IT professionals.”

Pekelman added a friendly reminder for Super Bowl watchers to put away their laptops during the game, “to avoid a terrible start to your remote Monday.”

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