It’s World Cup Football time again
This time it’s the women’s turn but what should business do if staff want to watch the action?
June sees the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a month-long tournament that is expected to receive significant media coverage. The popularity of women’s football has grown substantially in recent years, meaning your client should not underestimate how this might present an issue when managing their employees.
In preparation for the tournament, your client is advised to review any pre-existing sporting events policy or consider introducing one where this is not already in place. Policies on sporting events will enable your client to clearly outline their stance on workplace conduct during the event, including how the staff is expected to behave and whether they are prepared to introduce any temporary allowances during the World Cup.
The tournament will be held in France and kick-off times will vary, however, a number of games will be played in the week during regular business hours. Your client should be aware that staff may become distracted during these times as they attempt to keep up to date with the action, which could have a negative impact on productivity. To mitigate this they should keep a watchful eye out for those using their mobile phones and even consider blocking internet access or access to certain websites on workplace IT equipment for relevant periods.
Alternatively, given that staff may be inclined to circumvent the rules your client could allow them to keep up with the tournament’s developments to avoid any discord. One favourable method would be to nominate an individual to periodically check on the scores and inform colleagues of any significant developments. Alternatively, your client may consider placing a TV in the staff room and allow employees to watch the games during designated break times. Whilst the latter may help boost workplace morale, your client should consider the risk of staff taking extended or unauthorised breaks to keep up with the action.
World Cups are often revered for their ability to promote a sense of fandom and national pride, however, your client mustn’t allow passions to get out of hand and ensure the workplace remains a welcoming and safe environment for all. Your client should also be wary of staff making offensive sexist remarks during the tournament, ensuring there is an appropriate reporting procedure in place and that instances of harassment are handled seriously.
As with any sporting event, your client needs to find the balance that works best for them and their organisation, however having the appropriate procedures in place beforehand will certainly help alleviate any concerns when it comes to managing staff during the World Cup.