How to handle World Cup distractions in your workforce

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Major sporting events such as the World Cup are internationally trending topics. So it’s quite possible that world cup conversation could trickle down into your workplace and grab the attention of your employees. Alison Schreiber from The HR Dept Durham shares tips on how to deal with major sporting events at work.

Communicate your game plan or policy
With sports socials sweeping the nation (and the world this time), it can even be tempting for those not usually invested in sports to get seduced by the social atmosphere. As a small business owner, you could encounter difficulties if half your workforce suddenly come down with football fever.

But with some planning and a few processes in place, it is possible to keep your team focused and on a winning streak.

It’s important that your employees are aware of your company policies. You may wish to revisit your current policies to ensure that communication is clear regarding topics such as internet usage or employee code of conduct, as these can sometimes be challenged when a huge game is on.
If you have a team of keen sports enthusiasts, you could add a sports policy. This will clarify to your employees what is and isn’t acceptable.

Show your commitment to work-life balance
If you anticipate that your employees’ minds might be wandering when a match is on, think about bending the rules a little to allow flexible working hours. Adapting schedules could be a winning formula all round. You are likely to earn your employees’ respect and reduce the chances of a dip in productivity.

If you’re unable to do this and think your employees might try to live-stream football during working hours, you could consider having a TV in the staff room with a cover schedule for breaks.

Just remember to make the same allowances for anyone who isn’t following the football if you want to keep your dream team running smoothly.

Embrace the moment
With all the emotion tied into major sporting events, the occasion could be an excellent opportunity to bring people together. This could be through a sports themed team social, setting up a five-a-side company team or that old classic – an office sweepstake. These invariably appeal to more than just the sports fans amongst us.