Photo: Kelly Sikkema
Feeling sick? Maybe just a bit hungover or want to eke out a little bit more of the weekend? Shoot, maybe you just had a whole day off for a holiday and now need time to recover from your family.
Well, you’re not alone. Or unique. It turns out across the country, when you’re “sick,” so is everyone else. We analyzed our website traffic to find the days when the most people are playing hooky.
The results? …Well, there’s a reason your boss is so suspicious.
SUMMARY OF THE DAYS WHEN MORE PEOPLE CALL IN SICK TO WORK
- Monday is by far the most popular day, with 20% of sick day searches occurring on the first day of the workday. Garfield was right, I guess, Mondays suck.
- Friday is shockingly the least popular weekday according to our data.
- Holidays heavily impact sick days- 8 of the 10 sickest days in 2019 were holidays.
- The day after Christmas was the most popular day to skip work in 2019
- Super Sick Monday (the Monday after the Super Bowl) is notorious for work call-outs, but for 2019 didn’t quite make the top 10.
- Monthly interest in calling out sick was fairly flat, with no uptick for flu season
Keep reading to see the holidays that had most people playing hooky and how we figured this one out. Otherwise, you can scroll to the bottom to see how each day fared.
WE DETERMINED THE DAYS PEOPLE ARE MOST LIKELY TO CALL IN SICK
For this data, we turned to our own website traffic. We analyzed traffic patterns and visitors to our article on Tips For Calling In Sick- Even When You’re Not. We looked at all website visits for 2019.
Since traffic fluctuations can make daily visitors alone an unreliable method for comparison, we measured traffic changes day over day to identify days where interest in calling in sick surged. The higher the day over day traffic increase, the more people calling in sick.
The 10 “Sickest” Days Of 2019
- December 26th – Day After Christmas
- April 22nd – Day After Easter
- January 2nd – Day After New Years
- July 8th – Monday After July 4th
- August 12th – Monday
- March 18th – Day After St. Patrick’s Day
- October 21st – Monday After Halloween
- June 24th – Monday
- January 21st – Martin Luther King Day
- March 11th – After Daylight Savings Time
Holidays are contagious apparently. People are significantly more likely to call in sick near a holiday. The day after Christmas had the highest surge rate, with an almost 400% increase. To put that into perspective, a “normal” surge is closer to 100%. In general, the closer the holiday is to a weekend, the greater chance of people calling in sick.
Interestingly, July 4th and Halloween were both on Thursday in 2019. However, each holiday had a surge of call-outs the following Monday, not the immediate Friday following.
That makes sense, because next to holidays the favorite day to call in sick is Monday. It is also likely that many holiday festivities for those two events took place over the weekend, leading to a lot of fake coughing on phone calls to bosses all across America.
We couldn’t identify any event prior to August 12th or June 24th leading to everyone wanting to skip work, forcing us to conclude they were simply the Mondayest Mondays ever, scientifically of course.
While the biggest motivating factor for calling in sick is proximity to a holiday, day of the week matters, too. The most popular day by far is Monday, with Friday being in last place for weekdays.
SUMMARY ON THE MOST POPULAR DAYS TO CALL IN SICK
One thing is clear- workers across America have a heightened interest in calling in sick on the same days. The days everyone wants to stay in bed the most? Any weekday near a national holiday and Mondays.
It is impossible to tell how many of these sick days are genuine sickness or exhaustion from dealing with the stresses of the holidays, and which are from a simple desire to be anywhere other than work. After all, a great deal of these holidays come with copious amounts of food, drink, and close proximity to a lot of people. Maybe holidays arecontagious.
One thing is clear, if you want to play hooky from work with your boss being none the wiser, stay away from Monday. Be an original and do a Wednesday. Better yet, find a job that doesn’t make you want to call in sick all the time.