Over half of UK employers anxious about distraction of global football event

World Cup to cost UK businesses £1 billion

Business bosses are ‘panicking’ about lost working hours as workers take time off to watch the World Cup, according to the Chartered Management Institute.

Over half of UK employers (54 per cent) are anxious about employees being distracted by online coverage of the World Cup, while 53 per cent fear endless conversations about football will divert employees attention from their jobs.

Two in five bosses suspect employees will take unauthorised time off to watch games during the World Cup, which starts this Friday (June 11th) and runs until early July. England’s first daytime game takes place on June 23rd against Slovenia.

And with the Tour de France beginning July 3rd and running till July 25th, employees will have ample chance to be distracted by major sporting events this summer.

However, some UK firms have chosen to make the most of the World Cup rather than fear it will cost them financially, including Raleigh. The firm released a limited and England themed edition of the Burner Chaos BMX last month.

CMI, the author of the report, also felt that fears over the World Cup were largely unfounded. One per cent of employees polled said they would consider calling in sick to watch an important match, while 60 per cent said that work comes first regardless of how their team was faring.

“The World Cup should not negatively impact business performance,” said CMI chief exec Ruth Spellman. “In fact leaders could be missing a trick by dwelling on fears of coping with empty offices all summer. We’re convinced it offers some fantastic opportunities to address some of the issues which have plagued UK organisations since the downturn struck – things like waning morale, insecurity and a lack of engagement.”

“It’s greatly concerning that so many managers have fears around the World Cup. They clearly feel ill equipped to develop appropriate strategies to cope with the problems associated with major sporting events. The fact that more than half of our managers and leaders think that there is nothing they can do to prevent the World Cup from distracting staff or to limit unauthorised absences amplifies the desperate need for improved standards of management and leadership. Better trained and qualified managers would be able to see the World Cup as a great opportunity for engagement, and take proactive measures to manage the situation to get the best out of it.”

BikeBiz sister site PC Retail has also reported on fears that the Cup could affect networks as employees log on to watch matches.

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