Here we go, here we go, here we go…

A football boot emblazoned with all the national flags of the countries competing in the world cup.

Oh yes, right now England are playing their first game of the World Cup tournament and no doubt many of you will be thinking once again ‘here we go….what excuse will they have this time…?’

There is no doubt during events like the World Cup productivity can go down, absenteeism may go up and there may be an increased amount of traffic on the network whilst some employees keep track of their country or team from the office sweepstake!

Don’t panic!  Here at cooperativeHR we understand these issues and can give you our top five tips to help you manage employee productivity during the World Cup:

Be flexible

If at all possible offer employees the opportunity to work a bit more flexibly, for example by allowing them to start earlier or finish earlier, vary their break times, swap shifts or take work home with them.  By doing this you can be assured the times that employees are at work they are thinking about their duties and not what is going on in the game they have had to miss….

Turn unplanned absence into planned absence

If you have a high level of football fans among your workforce you could see an increase in unplanned absences during the World Cup. So plan ahead and try to turn any potential unplanned absences into planned ones.  Highlight the policies you have in place to support periods of leave and highlight the game schedule.  Encourage employees to speak to their managers if they wish to take time off so that they can plan for cover.  This way no one misses out!

Get involved

Rather than accept that a high level of absenteeism is the norm around this time try and turn opinions round and show employees you support the World Cup too – even though business must continue!  If possible show the matches in the Social Room or allow the radio quietly on in the background.  Hold dress down days in the workplace or run a company sweepstake or fantasy league.  By showing you are as interested as everyone else you can show that everyone can join in whilst business continues!   

Adjust the schedule

Six people sitting at an office meeting table in business attire.

Due to the location of the World Cup there are some games on at times that may be inconvenient for the workplace. Consider the schedule when planning meetings or events at work.  Try not to plan any big meetings when you know England kick off at 1….  Do your research and try to pick suitable dates to ensure as many people as possible can still be involved. 

Remember the minority

Although we may think it is a little strange, it is important to remember that not everyone likes football!  Some staff may be annoyed if they feel they are left holding the fort again because another big game is on.  Be sensitive to their needs and maybe even negotiate some flexibility for them after the World Cup if they help out during this period.

They Think Its All Over…

While there’s no legal requirement for employers to give employees time off to watch World Cup matches, a bit of give-and-take to accommodate employee requests could do a huge amount for employee morale and your business.  With everyone’s support, employees can adjust, you can accommodate, and everyone can adapt their work and their lives without compromising their happiness or productivity – or your bottom line!

…It is Now!

A footballer performing an acrobatic leap to kick a high football.

If you need help with any issues during the World Cup or indeed any other HR issue we are happy to help. 

Give us a call on 01903 868502 or drop me an email on