The World Cup takes place between Sunday 20th November and Sunday 18th December and is a big sporting event. Your employees may wish to follow their team and enjoy the event (as might you).

But, not at a detriment to your business. Below are some of the things you could put in place to be able to balance work and play (literally!)

Offer flexible working

As Qatar is 3 hours ahead of the UK, it is likely that games will be shown at all times of the day. So, if you don’t already operate a flexible working approach, it may be something to consider during the period of the World Cup. This might mean leaving early, coming in later, or even working from home.

Ensure that you offer flexible working to all your employees, as you won’t want anyone to accuse you of discrimination.

And if your employees want last-minute time off, you could relax your rules and accept their requests. But only if you’ve got enough cover to keep your business ticking along.

Is it possible to allow employees to take a break during certain matches? Can employees swap shifts (with management permission)?

Let employees watch the footie

We know what you’re thinking. No work will get done if your employee’s eyes are glued to the TV screen.

But that’s not necessarily true.

Your employees are bound to be less distracted if they can watch the matches, as they won’t have to sneak off to check the scores. And if you put the TV somewhere they can all easily see it, your employees can get on with their work and still keep an ear out for the commentary.

Manage an office? Let your employees listen to the games online. But make it clear that you still expect them to do their work.

Annual leave & absence

Annual leave could be booked, and all leave requests should be considered fairly by you. Remember, not everyone likes football but may also want to take leave during this time.

You should continue to monitor levels of attendance during this period and any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence could result in formal proceedings.

You might want to also pay attention to high levels of sickness, late attendance or lower levels of performance at work due to post match celebrations (fingers crossed!).

Drinking or under the influence

Some employees may like to partake in a drink or two whilst watching a match. However, coming to work under the influence of alcohol or being caught drinking during working hours could result in disciplinary action.

Social media usage

There may be an increase in employees using social networking sites, sports news websites or official sporting events pages on the internet. You may wish to remind employees of your policies regarding the use of social networking and websites during working hours.

Get into the World Cup spirit

Nothing brings people together like football.

And as the World Cup only happens once every four years, now is your chance to create new memories with your employees.

Start by decorating your workplace with flags of the countries taking part. Hang them from the ceiling or secure them to tables.

Relax your dress code and let your employees wear football shirts. They’ll get to represent their team, or their favourite player and embrace the spirit of the occasion.

And finally, you could organise a sweepstake for your team.

So, it doesn’t matter whether Gareth Southgate’s team make it all the way to the final or crash out in the group stages, your employees will be grateful that you let them be a part of it.

How Hallidays HR can help

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please do not hesitate to contact us.