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Why are UK workers planning to take the day off on 25 April?

It seems the workforce is filled with die hard Game of Thrones followers and, to be perfectly honest, the behaviour of fans is almost as intriguing as the action on the screen. And just so you know, most don’t plan on being at work on 25 April.
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The passion and extreme devotion that some fans display has created a phenomenon unlike anything attached to rivals – and it’s apparent by some of the odd objects available to buy on Etsy. There’s a Ned Stark My Little Pony – not for the faint hearted – a direwolf hand puppet and a Joffery Baratheon catnip toy. And that’s all probably just scratching the surface.

But while some of your staff may not own products such as a “Sansa Stark is My Homegirl” tote bag, they certainly plan on being able to watch the first episode of season six at the same time as those living in America on 24 April so as to avoid spoilers – and then crash and burn the next day.

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This was made apparent when Lottoland.co.uk polled 2,384 Brits aged 18 and over. It found that one in ten workers who follow Game of Thrones will be taking Monday off work in order to catch up with some of the prior storylines, with almost half confessing they plan to phone-in sick to work.

Each participant taking part in the study stated they worked in a full-time office job and were a fan of Game Of Thrones, so much so they had watched every episode of each of the television series so far. When asked to reveal if they had set aside a time already to watch the first episode of season six yet, 86 per cent admitted to having done so. When then asked when they were planning to watch the premiere, 32 per cent of those questioned were planning to stay up until the early hours of Monday morning and watch the episode as it airs. 

Of those planning to take the day off on Monday, 47 per cent confessed they had not booked the day off as holiday, but would most likely phone-in sick to work and give their boss an excuse regarding their health first thing next week. The remaining 53 per cent had booked the day off specially to watch the show, or already had a holiday booked that coincided with the season launch.

And almost humorously, two per cent believed their bosses would understand their need for wanting to book off a day in order to stay up late and watch a television show.

Nigel Birrell, CEO of Lottoland, suggested there is no doubt that the launch of the new Game of Thrones series is a hot topic amongst almost everybody, regardless of whether or not they are a fan of the show. 

“It is extremely interesting as an employer to see the importance fans put on the premiere of such a popular show and being able to watch it first,” he said. “I have seen numerous examples of this in some areas of the UK, but perhaps staff incentives, such as giving employees flexible working hours to correlate with such a popular season launch, would boost staff morale and decrease the chance of people ringing in sick to work.”

There are nine Great Houses in Game of Thrones’ Westeros and each of those houses has its own mottos that encapsulate who they are and what they stand for. These house words provide clear business lessons that entrepreneurs can take away in order to grow, develop and compete against larger organisations.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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