Potential Effects of the Solar Eclipse
August 23, 2017
Did you purchase the special solar goggles or make a home-made viewer to watch the solar eclipse in action on Monday? If so, you are not alone. Many people did just that, and then they stepped away from their desks, phones, and computers to witness the rare event. But, at what cost?
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Monday's solar eclipse was responsible for a projected $700 million loss in productivity for businesses.
Is this loss a big deal?
Some would say "yes," and others, "no." My daughter is interning at a company that went all out. They purchased special goggles for everyone, provided food, and encouraged all to participate. I’m sure there were many companies that did the same, just as I am sure there were many that let the event pass with little to no recognition. And, there are others who likely promoted an atmosphere where employees wouldn’t feel able to step away — even for a few minutes.
The cost for the latter is far greater than the lost productivity associated with those who stepped away. Companies that don’t value their employees enough to encourage participation in such a momentous event are the real losers. While we can’t get a re-do until 2024, there will be other potential events in the meantime, whether it is a bald eagle hatching, a coronation of a king or inauguration of a president, or even the presence of a pop star or an actor. These events may be a once-in-a-lifetime event for some of your co-workers or employees. Letting them take a few minutes out of their day to experience the moment important to them is a gift far more valuable than the potential loss in productivity.
In an age where employees are looking for companies that care, companies that value something more than the bottom line, events like this are the perfect time for management to show their support toward their employees. In return, employees will work harder and give more — that is, they will be more productive.
Anne Converse Willkomm
Director of Graduate Studies