Did the Solar Eclipse Cost America $700 Million in Lost Productivity?

For those of you who don’t watch the news, the solar eclipse occurred today as the Sun disappeared, seemingly swallowed by our moon. Here at XANT the different teams naturally broke from work between 11am-1pm MST and exited the building with solar glasses to catch glimpses of the natural phenomenon. It was a spectacular sight and I must admit it was fun watching fathers and mothers constantly telling their children to not look directly at the scene or they’d be blind the rest of their lives. (Don’t worry, I was one of them.)

Over the last week, many news sources have tried to estimate the overall cost the eclipse would have on the U.S. economy. In one often mentioned article, it was estimated that the U.S. would lose nearly $700 million in productivity as employees stretched their legs and headed outside to see the live event. In my opinion, experiencing a natural phenomenon like this isn’t a waste of time, but being a numbers guy I couldn’t help but listen as one of our data scientists ran up to me after the eclipse was over and said, “Dave, youm won’t believe what happened during the eclipse!” Laughing out loud, I told him I knew exactly what happened as I had watched it with my own eyes. As only a true nerd could, he said, “Exactly!” and then he began showing me charts and graphs about the lost productivity North American sales teams experienced.

He showed me Mondays for the last year, and told me that today’s eclipse caused 7.7% fewer dials to be made than on a typical Monday. Interestingly, today’s activity numbers look more like a typical Friday, which happens to be the worst day of the week in regards to productivity.

When the team analyzed the exact time frame of the solar eclipse (11AM to 1PM MST) the data showed 18.5% fewer activities made in comparison to other Monday’s throughout the year. Notice in the graph that there typically is a lunch break that occurs but with today’s festivities, that lunch break was more dramatic and there was a dip in activity at 12:30 MST that normally doesn’t occur.

This might not mean much but then the team turned those productivity numbers into dollars and cents. In total, North American sales teams lost $72 million in productivity thanks to the solar eclipse. That’s a decent number but we have seen similar effects from the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, the US inaugural address, and NBA Finals.

Did the U.S. lose nearly 700 million in lost productivity due to the solar eclipse? I’m not sure but I can tell you that today sales teams lost $72 million. Truthfully, I think we’ll make it up tomorrow. If your company’s solar gathering was anything like ours, it wasn’t a waste, it was boost. I felt rejuvenated and refreshed after seeing such an amazing event and I know the rest of my team felt the same. Yeah, today we lost some productivity but I’ll bet you tomorrow we’ll make it up. What do you think?

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