The 2018 World Cup and Your Staff – Will It Affect Productivity?
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is almost upon us. Love it or hate it [I am a big fan], what effect will it have on the productivity of your business?
Will there be a lot of authorised absences between 14 June and the final in Moscow on 15 July? Will team members try to throw a sickie?
Before the last World Cup there were a couple of interesting surveys. One, by internet service provider Eclipse, found that 54% of UK employees are planning to watch the matches on their computer at work.
Another survey, taken by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, found that 90% of British businesses said they did not have a policy for staff absence during the World Cup. However many staff you employ, having a game plan to tackle the World Cup is probably a good idea.
Our 5 Top Tips
But what are your options- especially as many of the matches will be shown live during normal working hours [some starting as early as 1pm)?
Here are 5 of our bright ideas
1. Offer unpaid holiday leave
Some staff may consider using part of the annual leave or even pretend to be off sick. Why not simply allow staff unpaid holiday leave instead?
But do watch out if too many staff all try to take holiday at the same time – if that could be a problem in your business, you might consider a simple “1st come, 1st served” system for annual leave requests throughout the duration of the World Cup – but if do decide on that, do make this crystal clear to all of your employees sooner rather than later
2. Use or introduce flexitime
Employers might consider introducing flexitime where appropriate during the tournament, such as letting employees work outside normal hours, if they prefer to watch a game during the normal working day.
3. Allow people to watch while they work
Having the match on at work in the background may be OK for some businesses – but could create real problems in an open-plan office environment.
And I’m not sure how long your own solicitor would keep your business if be if they were to try to advise you on a critical business decision whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on the latest score in a live stream on their phone!
It’s also likely to be disruptive to more people than intended with distraction even for those staff who don’t want to watch the match. Also bear in mind that if you allow staff to watch TV at work, you will need a TV license.
You also need to watch out if a large number of staff try to stream live matches from their desktops – doing so could have quite a big impact on your IT system.
But perhaps you could arrange for team members to only surf the net to watch matches during pre-agreed breaks and whilst at lunch?
4. Use the opportunity for team bonding
Consider setting up a TV in a meeting room for big games or perhaps reserve an area in a pub with a big-screen one night.
5. Swapping shifts
Why not encourage shift swapping – perhaps on a notice board or staff intranet so those employees who want to watch a game can contact those who are happy to cover their shifts.
Now some patriotic businesses may only make arrangements for England matches – and with our plucky national team stuck in the same group as the highly impressive Belgians, there is a realistic chance we won’t even get beyond the group stages! And fortunately, at least for 9-to-5 businesses, all of those first 3 England group matches are outside normal working hours.
Whichever way you go, don’t leave it to chance. It’s only fair on your staff and your customers if everyone knows exactly what they can, and can’t watch at work when it comes to this year’s World Cup.
Need specialist employment law advice? Give our team a call
The employment law team here at Bonallack & Bishop have the experience and know-how you need.
So for expert legal advice on any employment law problem,
- Call us on Salisbury  422300 OR
- Get in touch by filling out our contact form below.