Monday's solar eclipse 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.
States and cities in the path of the eclipse could suffer productivity losses of almost $200 million. Experts are warning businesses to expect increased absenteeism as millions of people are projected to travel to see the eclipse or take a break from work, which will cause productivity to plummet.
Even companies located in areas with a partial eclipse may have a "manic Monday." Challenger, Grey, estimates that the eclipse will cost the Chicago area $28 million, for example. Experts are encouraging employers to make the best of the situation by holding viewing parties and other team-building activities.
"A loss of productivity does not necessarily mean that good things cannot come out of this eclipse," said Andrew Challenger, vice president at Challenger, Grey, in a statement. "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."