According to a survey released yesterday, a third of football fans are planning on skipping work to watch England compete in the 2010 World Cup which kicks off on June 11th. The YouGov survey found that thirty-eight percent of full time workers were planning on missing work to watch England play.
There is also speculation about the strain on employee productivity caused by the World Cup, but I guess you might be hard pressed to find a company who would reveal any exact figures – still it is easy to imagine the loss of productivity derived from watching matches and discussing football.
And let’s not forget the dreadful effects of World Cup hangovers, as everyone enjoys a beer, or five, while watching the games! New research by charity Drinkaware and Bupa found that over half a million people in the UK go to work with a hangover every day, and Drinkaware have highlighted that this will become even more relevant as the World Cup season occurs in June and July, when we may see an increase in hangovers in the workplace.
Previous year’s tournaments sometimes proved a headache for employers with staff either sneaking into the breakout rooms for extended periods, taking long lunches to watch the games in the local pubs or even taking a sick day.
In 2010 the dynamics have changed – The 2010 Fifa World Cup will be the first in the history of the tournament where every game is going to be streamed online live, as well as being the first with high definition coverage of the tournament. Meaning employers face a new host of challenges relating to the World Cup. With all games available online, companies are facing further serious drop in productivity and concentration as employees openly or secretly watch games at their PC’s or even on their iPhones. And don’t forget all that social media buzz that employees will be involved in; Twitter, Facebook, Sports blogs and news sites provide further forums for discussing the World Cup 2010 action and further distracting employees from their work tasks.
But is it really all that bad?
Many employers are learning from past experiences and openly allowing staff time off to watch England games so long as they make up the hours, some will even be watching the games together as a team building experience.
In fact the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have advised and encouraged bosses to allow employees to watch the games either away from work or on the company premises. The TUC believes the World Cup proves an excellent opportunity for many employers to embrace and support flexible working hours, by using the World Cup as a way to introduce the option and ‘test’ the flexible approach. In the run-up to the World Cup the TUC has issued advice for staff wanting to watch the tournament, which is available at http://www.workSMART.org.uk.
However, if you are not so lucky then you can of course make use of the online streaming and watch all the games via live online streaming either on BBC iplayer or ITV player, and there will no doubt be a lot of unofficial channels popping up everywhere too. I have just found a great one called TV Catch Up (http://www.tvcatchup.com) that lets you watch live UK TV (including all Freeview channels) on your computer, iPhone or games console!
You can also keep updated on the go via your mobile phones. Here is a quick guide to keeping updated on the World Cup 2010 via your favourite smart phones!
- Fifa News iPhone app – follow your team before and during the tournament. This app is great for stats, photos and score updates.
- World Cup Trivia Challenge app – this app costs $1.99 and provides a plethora of questions and answers – perfect when it is world cup trivia night at your local.
- 2010 World Cup – this unofficial app features regular updates so you can keep an eye on the goals from all matches. You can also flick between groups and knockout stages easily. Price £0.59
Visit the iPhone app store to purchase these apps and more: http://www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone
- World Cup South Africa 2010 App for Blackberry. The app has been released from the developers over at S42 and Zona Blackberry. The World Cup app delivers live scoring updates, team stats and integrates nicely with your calendar. An ideal companion for World Cup time especially if you are on the road for business meetings or commuting.
- Goal Mobile app – Watch Live Games extracts and keep up to date with scores – simply download the application from the app store.
- Sky Sports – courtesy of Google you can get all Sky Sports news about England and the 31 other teams in a formatted concise version. FREE!
- FotMob – Serving up news coverage from Fifa this app allows you to keep updated with fixtures, group tables and positions. And apparently you can also watch live games straight from the app. You can download a month free trial directly from the site http://www.mobilefootie.com. Usual cost is $1.49 per month.
Visit the android store to get these apps and more: http://www.android.com/market/#app=com.epocrates
To keep updated with the world cup game schedule visit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/world-cup-2010/fixtures/6664365/World-Cup-Game-Schedule.html