Solar Eclipse could have cost employers hundreds of millions of dollars

Andrew Cummings
August 22, 2017

Don't flash those solar eclipse glasses in front of the boss around lunch time tomorrow. Because let's be real: How many people do you know who will only take a 20-minute break?

The first solar eclipse visible in the US since 1979 will take place in the middle of the workday, which may cost employers as much as $694 million in lost productivity, according to global outplacement and coaching firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas, which analyzed wage and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And that could cost corporate America almost $700 million in lost productivity, according to a report in Forbes.

The Monday after the Super Bowl reportedly led to $290 million in lost productivity for every 10 minutes of the workday spent by employees talking about the game or watching game highlights and re-runs. "Employers could offer lunch to their staff, give instructions on how to make viewing devices, and watch together as a team", said Challenger.

'Compared to the amount of wages being paid to an employee over a course of a year, it is very small, ' Challenger said.

In fact, considering only Chicago, the cost to employers could hit $28 million.

Cyber Monday, following the Thanksgiving holiday, caused an estimated loss of at least $450 million for every 14 minutes spent by people on online shopping at their workplace.

CGC released data in support of an estimated $700 million in lost productivity to its website in the form of a press release. "By considering how this event may impact employee morale, companies can turn this potential monetary loss to a gain when it comes to employee satisfaction", said Challenger.

For the first time since 1979, the United States will have a front-row seat to a total solar eclipse stretching 70 miles wide and following a path from OR to SC.

Employers could also start eclipse-related contests for employees. For the United States, a path will be 70 miles wide from OR to SC.

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