June 14th, 2018 / Insight posted in Blog

The World Cup 2018 – how to handle match days

Whether you’re a football fan or not, there is something about an international tournament that brings out the patriotic spirit in us all!

With the World Cup happening in Russia, there isn’t a massive time difference as there has been in previous tournaments. This means that most matches start after 5pm or take place at weekends. However, some matches (non-England ones) kick off in the afternoon.

For a while now there’s been strong evidence suggesting that flexibility in the workplace increases productivity and improves employee engagement. Many businesses have decided to show either all matches or only the England matches (if they get past the group stage) in the workplace, depending on the demand for non-England matches.

As an employer however, you may wish to introduce certain stipulations for employees watching any of the matches in full. You might ask your employees to make up the hours missed or take the whole afternoon as holiday.

Even with these stipulations, imagine the valuable team building that is taking place during the World Cup. What better way to reconnect your own team and foster a powerful feeling of togetherness? In the past, trade unions have called on employers to allow employees to watch the matches (if they’re during working hours), arguing that it boosts morale. Luckily for most employers today, this won’t have a big impact, as all England’s group matches are in the evening or at the weekend.

Will you notice a spike in absence figures during the tournament? Or will your IT system suddenly be on a ‘go slow’ on certain days as employees try to stream the matches on their desktops?

If you’re thinking of allowing staff time off to watch certain matches, it is worth considering just how flexible you’re willing to be.

While you may have ‘Three Lions’ dancing around your head in the hope of England getting through to the quarter-finals, could your company absorb the cost of allowing staff more time off for other matches with an early kick-off? Also, what will you do for those employees who don’t want to watch any match? Make sure you’re being fair and treating everyone equally.

So, will you and your employees be watching and keeping track of the competition?