Conducted by online recruitment firm GulfTalent, the survey focused on employees in the Middle East, where many of the live games happen very late at night or early in the morning. IT professionals were most likely to simply turn up late or call in sick, while marketing employees were most likely to just come to work tired.
But the games are likely to affect productivity in more ways than one: about a third of respondents indicated they intended to watch game highlights online at work. And managers who were interested in the games were also more likely to be lax in their attitudes towards their subordinates when it comes to slacking off during the Cup.
However, it’s not all bad news. One manager pointed out that the sentiment could be used to the company’s advantage. “Staff productivity is highly dependent on emotions,” said the respondent, a manager at a Saudi catering firm. “We can properly transform these emotions during this time in a positive manner to increase productivity. So I would allow my staff time to watch their favorite matches.”
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HR lessons from FIFA teams
You may not be able to count on the rest of your workforce, but at least the HR department will be one area you can count on to plan leave properly during the World Cup. A survey of 18,000 employees found that those in HR were most likely to take an annual leave day to watch a game.