WRIGLEYVILLE — Think calling in "Cubs" can get you out of work or school?
It must be working for some people: Kids coming late to class listed the reason as "Cubs" in at least one school.
And employees were expected to come in late, "maybe a little hungover," and spend at least some work time reliving Game 7 by watching clips, said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
Challenger studies how worker productivity can take a hit after major events. After doing the math, he estimates Chicago-area businesses could lose $153.9 million per hour on wages paid to unproductive employees on Thursday.
The effect should be even costlier than what Chicago businesses saw when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in recent years because the Cubs have a larger fan base, Challenger said. Plus, Wednesday's game was "maybe the best baseball game in history," he said.
Even though the game was played in Cleveland, thousands of people flooded the streets of Wrigleyville to celebrate. Some stayed until dawn — or later.
All the money lost because of the Cubs celebrations isn't necessarily a waste, though. Challenger said businesses can use the Cubs' big win to make their employees happy and want to stick around. That can be a big bonus because employment is relatively high and companies don't want to lose employees to other workplaces.
The win's a "great benefit to companies if they take advantage of it," Challenger said. "Let people wear their Cubbie gear, let them celebrate. Maybe send a note around. Anyway you can latch your brand on to the greatest, lovable ... team seen in 100 years ... ."
The Cubs' win could have a national impact on worker productivity, Challenger said, but it should go "under the economic radar" because of how many other distractions there are.
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