Summer is often the quietest period in the workplace, as many people tend to take the bulk of their annual leave when the kids are off school and the (hopefully) warmer weather strikes. Long, hot days and a more relaxed atmosphere can cause staff to become unmotivated, especially if there is somewhere they’d much rather be. When major sporting events, such as the World Cup,the Euros or the Olympics roll round, important matches or events often take place during the middle of the working day. The problem for employers is whether to let employees watch such events in the workplace or to completely clamp down on watching sports while at work.
With UEFA’s website revealing the remaining fixture times are not always particularly convenient, and with many taking place in the early evening or during the middle of the day at weekends, when many people in the service sector in particular work, the latter stages of the tournament are likely to pose the same problems as the opening weeks.
Can You Take Time Off?
As the International Business Times states, employers are not obliged to allow you to take time off for football matches or any other sporting events. While many employers will not object to staff taking annual leave for specific matches, there will obviously be problems with cover if too many people want to take the same day or half-day off due to a popular game being screened.
Using Sporting Events to Boost Morale
The period around major footballing events is a great time to start a workplace team. Building on the momentum around the Euros will ensure maximum sign-up, and team sports are a relaxed yet effective method of team-building. If any staff members are keen to join up but are lacking in fitness or confidence, soccer drills can be a big help. Online resources such as http://www.sportplan.net/drills/Soccer/drills.jsp offer a wealth of training videos.
Allowing employees to watch matches in the workplace is nothing new, and many employers have long shown major matches. The advent of the internet in the past couple of decades has made it easier for employees to furtively watch TV or live streams or listen to the radio at work, so many employers may well suspect staff will find a way to follow the match regardless.