The series finale of Game of Thrones is upon us, and employers across the U.S. should be very afraid. “Absence is Coming,” a new survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos, conducted by The Harris Poll, found that the final episode premiering this Sunday, May 19, is likely to cause major Monday workplace conflicts.
According to the survey—which analyzed the results of 1090 working adults who took part in an online poll alongside U.S. Census Data and extrapolated its final tallies from there—the conclusion of Game of Thrones could be as disastrous to America's workplaces on Monday morning as it will likely be to some of your favorite characters. According to the poll:
“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.”
While that viewership estimate is likely high (season 8's penultimate episode, "The Bells," is the series's most-watched so far, with 18.4 million viewers), there's no denying that Game of Thrones's finale will rival some of the most-watched series finales of all time.
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. Apparently, this is not a new development: The Workforce Institute at Kronos reports that Game of Thrones season 8 has already had a negative impact on workplace productivity. They estimate 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."
Not all of the questions asked were super serious, though. When asked about which Game of Thrones character they'd most like to have as a manager, one in four respondents said Jon Snow (earning the true heir to the Iron Throne the top spot), with Tyrion Lannister coming in second followed by Daenerys Targaryen (perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey was conducted online between May 7 and May 9—before "The Bells" happened). Amazingly, even Cersei Lannister got 2 percent of the vote.
If “Absence is Coming” proves anything, it’s that employers might make out better if they just declared Monday a national day of mourning and gave everyone the day off.