The 2018 World Cup: Impact on the Workplace

The 2018 world cup is a global sporting event which kicks off on the 14th June 2018 and runs through until the 15th of July 2018. Lots of people take an interest in these kinds of events and for employers who are worried about staff productivity this guide will walk through some of the potential issues and how best to tackle them.

The key thing for employers to remember is to be consistent across the board in your approach to any issues and measures put in place across this period.

Planning for game days
It might be suitable to consider some extra provisions for staff wanting to watch or attend games during the tournament. These may include; taking time off or allowing staff extra breaks throughout the day to watch particular games which have significance.

Communication between employees and employers is key. In order to properly gauge the level of interest in the world cup it’s always worth trying to maintain a good line of dialogue between you. Try to find out how many people are interested in the event so you can plan for any adjustments you might want to make to limit the detriment to your normal business operations.

Game day adjustments
Whilst it might not be possible to “shut down” or completely stop operations, in the interest of employee relations it might be prudent to consider allowing staff to switch shifts or allow for adjusted hours to allow staff to watch games. This could mean employees coming in a little later or finishing a little earlier and making up the lost time at the start of end of a day. What matters is having a consistent approach for everyone.

Organisations may also consider allowing a television or radio to be on in the workplace. Employers that allow access to a television in the workplace are advised to consider a different perk to those who do not wish to watch fixtures so they do not feel disadvantaged.

Time off
Employees who wish to take time off work around the time of the World Cup should go about it in the normal way under holiday booking procedures. There might be lots of other employees trying to get the same time periods off. Therefore it may be necessary for employers to work on a first come first served basis. Remember not all holiday requests have to be accepted and may be turned down where the business cannot accommodate this.

Balance and Consistency
Whilst making adjustments to accommodate the World Cup may be welcomed by Companies to uphold morale and employee relations, it is important that those not interested in the sporting event are not disadvantaged. For example holiday requests should not be prioritised for those requesting time off for the World Cup.

Furthermore be considerate of supporters of different teams if allowances are made to allow Employees to watch or listen to fixtures. Also Companies should be alert to rivalry which may result in offensive or intimidating comments or behaviour. It could be prudent to remind staff of relevant Dignity, Diversity and Harassment policies and expectations which outline harassment and discrimination should result in disciplinary proceedings.

Sickness procedure
A Company policy on sickness should remain the same throughout the tournament. Levels of attendance should be closely monitored and staff should be aware that unauthorised absence could result in formal proceedings. Whether you are a football fan or not it may be worth keying an eye on fixtures to identify patterns or suspect absences and take suitable action are required.

Websites and social networking
During the World Cup, particularly given many games can now be streamed, there may be an increase in staff using social networking sites, sports news websites or official sporting events pages on the internet.

Employers may wish to remind staff of any policies regarding the use of social networking and websites during working hours. The policies should be clear on what is and isn’t acceptable web use.

For more help and advice on specific situations please contact one of the team here at Tamar HR.

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