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Absence is coming: Game of Thrones finale could kill workplace productivity on Monday

Absence is coming: Game of Thrones finale could kill workplace productivity on Monday
The final Game of Thrones episode premiering on May 19 is likely to cause major workplace conflicts, a new survey from the Workforce Institute at Kronos, conducted by the Harris Poll, has found.

According to the study, the “Absence is Coming” episode could be as disastrous to America’s workplaces on Monday morning as it will likely be to some of the show’s characters.

“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,” it said.

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. Season 8 has already had a negative impact on workplace productivity, the study found. It estimated that 4.4 million employees have already “missed work specifically to stream reruns to refresh their memory on key plotlines or catch up on missed episodes.”

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When asked which Game of Thrones character they’d most like to have as a manager, one in four respondents (28 percent) named Jon Snow. Tyrion Lannister came in second (12 percent), followed by Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen (nine percent). Even Cersei Lannister got two percent of the vote.

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

“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,” she added.

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According to Maroney, the survey also found that a third of employees (33 percent) 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.”

The survey was conducted online between May 7 and May 9, before ‘The Bells’ episode (the series’ most-watched so far, with 18.4 million viewers) aired. It analyzed results of 1,090 working adults who took part in the online poll alongside US Census Data and extrapolated its final tallies from there.

The Game of Thrones’ finale is expected to rival some of the most-watched series finales of all time and create the “biggest storm of workplace disruption since the Super Bowl.”

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