Is your business Summer Sport Ready?

Is your business Summer Sport Ready?

Major sporting events happen all year round, but occasionally an event will have such widespread appeal that it can have an impact on the workplace.

However, this summer, two major sporting events will take place that were postponed in 2020 and given the past 12 months they may generate more interest in the workplace than normal:

Euro 2020: 11 June – 11 July

Tokyo Olympics: 23 July – 8 August

Depending on the timing of matches or events Employers should be alert to the potential attendance and conduct issues that may arise. It is therefore a good idea to consider in advance how to deal with issues such as competing requests for time off and distracted employees, as well as looking for opportunities for building employee engagement.

However, it is not like years past where, depending on the nature of your business, employers may install a big TV screen or multiple screens for major sporting events to enable employees the ability to watch whilst taking a break. There is the added complication of managing the divide between employees on site versus employees working at home.

Employees working from home will more likely be able to watch events even if working. They may be able to adjust their working hours around key matches. This may increase the divide and cause further resentment from those employees working on-site.

Performance and absence issues may appear from both sets of employees. If homeworkers do watch matches whilst working, their productivity may take a dip. Equally, those who are required to work on-site are more likely to have increased absence levels.

One approach would be to support a flexible working culture. By proactively managing employees’ time off in advance, you can plan ahead, instead of working reactively and having to deal with unexpected absences. This could lead to employee investigations, taking statements, checking facts and possible disciplinary procedures, which is a waste of your valuable time and resources.

We’ve all been through a turbulent time over the last 18 months. As an employer, this could be an opportunity to consider what positive actions can you take to lift mental health levels of employees and encourage unity?

Here are a few ideas for you:

  • Allow football shirts to be worn
  • Maybe allow a sweepstake
  • How about popping some flags up in the workplace?
  • Ask the employees who are on-site, what they would like?
  • Can you extend breaks, maybe move them to the time the game is on?
  • How about a radio with live commentary if TV screens are not possible?
  • What about early starts and late finishes and vice versa on the day of a match that includes a country associated with employees?

Do you have a policy in place to cover Sporting events? Is your sickness absence policy legally compliant? If you need advice with any aspect of managing employee absences, or you would like us to review your existing policy, we would be happy to help.