Coping with sports events in the workplace

England have secured their place on the continued journey in the World Cup. Exciting times? Or is it when you have to manage things at work? We also have Wimbledon starting next week for all those tennis fans all of which may impact on how to keep employees motivated to still come into work and be productive when they do!

People are passionate about different sports and certainly which team they want to win so think about whether your business has the ability to be open to different ways of working so that it is not unduly affected by these growing sporting events. Options to consider are:

  • Allow employees to listen to matches on the radio or online
  • Provide TVs
  • Consider how to accommodate followers and those not interested in break out areas of work – not everyone wants to hear the cheers and boos!
  • Let people watch on television or the internet during breaks, after work or in the background.
  • Consider whether drinking will be allowed in the workplace for games watched outside of normal working hours, or whether doing so may cause more problems than it’s worth.
  • Different break times to suit different nationalities to enable them to watch their home country.
  • Split shifts with the break taken at work with the facilities of TV etc available

Things to think about in relation to the above are:

  • Make sure you have valid licences in place for TVs
  • That risk assessments are carried out beforehand to identify any health and safety issues.
  • Consider whether some people will use inappropriate or unguarded comments about another team’s nationality or characteristics of its players, which may be offensive and/or lead to allegations of discrimination.
  • A good opportunity to remind employees of the relevant policies in place that relate to conduct within and outside the workplace, and of the potential consequences of failing to comply (for example, World Cup privileges being withdrawn and/or disciplinary action being taken).┬áIf your policy provides limited personal use on the internet or social media, remind employees that personal use must be limited and any parameters of personal use that you impose

It is always good to learn from each event as well. What things went well? Did we achieve the attendance at work we were expecting? If not why? Were there reasons for this? As knowing these answers not only gives you great information for reviewing policies and procedures but the way you handle the next sporting event of the year!

Finally, there is potentially one date in the not too distant future which you may wish to put in your diaries, Monday 16th July 2018. If the unthinkable happens and England actually win a penalty shoot-out and go all the way to the final, then this would kick off at 4:00pm on Sunday 15th July 2018. If England somehow managedto win the World Cup then you can probably expect record levels of absence on 16th July 2018!

If you need any guidance or support in any of the issues this may raise please do not hesitate to give one of our Consultants a call on 07989 343361 or visit our website for more details and other ways to stay in touch.

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