While we emotionally gear up for the Game of Thrones series finale on Sunday (May 19), employers are bracing themselves for the financial blow they'll likely receive on Monday (May 20). Though nearly a million people have signed a petition urging HBO to remake Season 8 with competent writers, the viewership for the show's final episode is expected to be massive. The millions of people expected to tune in will surely be distracted at work the following day. That is, if they even decide to come into the office at all.
A study conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos predicts that 27.2 million live viewers “will either miss work completely the next day, or arrive late, work remotely, be less productive than usual, or suffer some other impact on their work obligations come Monday." Of that number, 10.7 Americans are expected to skip out on work entirely.
Overall, the study concludes that 35.8 million GoT fans have spent at least one hour of work each week gossiping about Westeros since the Season 8 premiere on April 14. As such, the loss of productivity has already cost employers $3.3 billion in revenue, and the number is only expected to increase on Monday. Oof.
The Game of Thrones series finale airs Sunday at 9pm EST/PST on HBO.