Sick leave expected to increase during World Cup   9 Jun 2010

Randstad - Employers need to consider the impact of the World Cup on their workforce and productivity levels when the nation catches football fever this month, says recruitment & HR services specialists, Randstad.

New Zealand’s second ever World Cup bid is likely to have an impact beyond tired faces at the office.

Employees may watch replays on computers in the office, have post match “pow wows”, track their tipping competitions, as well as participate in online forums – particularly as the final approaches.

Employers can expect to see a spike in late starts and sick days during the tournament, particularly on Monday 21 June after a late night match between New Zealand and Slovakia, on Friday 25 June when New Zealand plays against Paraguay and again on Monday 12 July when the final airs at 6:30am.

And in a country with such a diverse culture, it won’t just be the All Whites people are tuning in to see. England’s World Cup games, for example, will be just as well-watched by British ex pats living in New Zealand.

Randstad’s Chief Executive Officer, Deb Loveridge says, “Some businesses, especially those which are tightly resourced and still trying to build up from the global financial crisis, may find World Cup fever to be irritating and a major distraction to achieving their goals. However, instead of dampening people’s spirits and expressing your frustration, it’s actually an ideal time to embrace the spirit of the sport, have fun and build employee morale through celebration and a culture of teamwork.

“Allowing people to express their emotions and be passionate about this global sporting event can have a positive impact on their overall happiness and mental attitude in the workplace. Themed marketing and business development activities can also be effective tools to generate sales and build stronger relationships with staff and customers,” says Loveridge.

“There is no doubt the World Cup will affect productivity on both a local and global scale. One of the key things employers should consider is to monitor pre-agreed leave days and plan effectively to ensure projects are resourced at normal levels.

“Meetings, projects and deadlines may require flexibility or rescheduling, particularly if staff working on these projects are avid football fans. Temporary staff can fill the gaps where needed. If business leaders understand that work may stand still or ‘dribble’ along, then they may be more inclined to get behind the spirit of the sport and join in the celebration with their people,” adds Loveridge.

“It’s actually a great time to celebrate diversity in the workplace, by encouraging people to get behind their home team. Employers should see this as an opportunity to build a sense of team spirit, boost the overall culture of the company and demonstrate to their workers they are a supportive employer inside and outside of the workplace.”

New Zealand’s World Cup games which may need resource considerations the following day include:
Tuesday June 15 at 11:30PM – New Zealand vs Slovakia
Wednesday16 June could be an allocated leave day, ‘sick day’ or celebratory day in the office.

Monday June 21 at 2:00AM – New Zealand vs Italy
Monday 21 June could be an allocated leave day or ‘sick day’ or celebratory day in the office.

Friday June 25 at 2:00am – New Zealand vs Paraguay
Friday 25 June could be an allocated leave day or ‘sick day’ or celebratory day in the office.

World Cup Final
Monday July 12th at 6:30am – could be an allocated leave day or ‘sick day’ or celebratory day in the office.


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