Watching football at work: How employers can get the best from their best team before kick off
10th June 2016
With the opening ceremony and first few games of Euro 2016 taking place this weekend, major sporting events like this offer a rarely-matched sense of togetherness and excitement. It’s little wonder that people will want to come together to watch the games.
Some of Euro 2016 matches are kicking off during UK working hours and not always in the evening, so those are the matches that your team will be desperate to see.
This might make some businesses nervous and employers might be cautious about introducing Football Fever into their workplace in case it increases distractions and decreases workplace productivity for several hours a day during the tournament.
David Marshall, Managing Director at Marshall E-Learning, explains his views on watching football at work:
“Personally I would let people leave to watch the match because not doing so would cause huge resentment from staff members. But it would be better if it was made into a team bonding experience and the boss puts on a lunch or similar, as staff appreciate that. As for myself I’m taking my train to France next Friday, as I just got my ticket for Russia v Wales in Toulouse, so I will definitely be letting my team watch Euro 2016 as well!”
Here are a few tips to help Euro 2016 go smoothly in your workplace and how you can get your team performing on top of their game throughout the tournament – even if the England team doesn’t.
Clearly communicate the rules
No one likes uncertainty and you can avoid any potential HR issues by clearly communicating ahead of the tournament what is and isn’t allowed.
Are people allowed to watch the games while at work? If they choose to work from home, is that ok? What if they want to take holiday leave to make the most of the games?
Make it clear and communicate with plenty of advanced warning.
Treat your employees as adults
It’s inevitable that football fanatics in office will be itching to watch the big games so embrace that excitement and use it your advantage.
There’s every chance employees will find a way to watch the big games anyway. So if you can’ t beat them, join them. Otherwise, it may just be counterproductive to try and force them to work.
After all, by letting your team take some time off work to watch some of the games, there is every chance they will work harder in the run up to the game starting and will appreciate the little break.
Make it a team building experience
Use the experience to do some team building or getting different departments to interact more than they’d usually do.
Look for ways to organise match viewings, with the minimum disruption and maximum reward.
Make the matches team and culture building activity
Working inside an office when the world’s biggest sporting event is taking place in beautiful sunny France will be frustrating to say the least.
Rather than stopping your employees from watching Euro 2016, make it a big event that’ll boost productivity in the long run.
Organise to mix up some cocktails for the big day, decorate your watching space, even organise some French-themed snacks.
Remember: Not everyone supports England!
It’s important to organise with employees the most important matches of the tournament.
Depending on who works in your office – and their nationality, they may want to watch different matches.
Sweeten the deal with a sweepstake
Try organising a sweepstakes in aid of charity. This will encourage everyone to take part and may even rope in the non-football lovers into the fray.
How is your office preparing for the Euro 2016? Will you be able to watch games? Which team have you got in the office sweepstake?
And best of luck to England, Wales, Northern Ireland and everyone else competing at Euro 2016!