Last Thursday, we saw the World Cup kick off with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia and tonight England play their first game against Tunisia at 7pm.
With an expected global audience of 3.4 billion people tuning in to watch their favourite football players and teams, we are likely to see its effects in the workplace. Although, the effects can be rather positive for an employer if the right actions are taken.
An employer could introduce a formal or informal policy for sporting events if this has not already been introduced. A formal policy sets out the rules that must be abided by all staff, whereas an informal policy would simply outline the expectations that you have for your employees during the football season. An informal policy would be more favourable, as it is seen as a more relaxed approach to addressing employee expectations.
If you would like to make the World Cup a positive and engaging experience for your employees, you may wish to consider introducing the following:
- Showing some of the matches on a large screen in communal areas with refreshments.
- Relaxing the rules set out in your internet/social media policies to allow employees to watch the matches on their work computers.
- Allowing employees to work flexibly, or allowing shift workers to alternate their shifts.
- Relaxing your dress code policy.
Introducing some or all of the above procedures in your workplace during the football season could reduce the likelihood of employees taking unauthorised absences. Additionally, showing matches in communal areas allows employees from various departments to socialise with each other.
However, in a multicultural workforce that will be supporting various teams, some of the conversations could easily turn into heated conversations where discriminating comments could be made. As an employer, you must prevent these conversations from occurring by reminding your employees that there are still some rules that they must follow in a workplace environment. Additionally, you must not be discriminative or unfavourable to employees that do not support the World Cup or have an interest in football.
Overall, embracing the World Cup in your workplace can improve relations between an employer and its employees and this can motivate your staff, which will in effect increase overall productivity.