FIFA World Cup 2014 in the workplace

June 25, 2014

As we all know the FIFA World Cup is back after 4 years. We all know that Spain holds the World Cup Champion title; we also know that this year’s favorite is Brazil. Some of us may be soccer fans since we were little kids, some of us might play soccer, others just watch it to stay informed and others watch it just because…usually these are the ones who talk about each match like they know everything that’s going on in the game. They haven’t watch a single soccer game in their life but all of the sudden they even like Cristiano Ronaldo. So for these recently discovered fans, the true ones and the ones who just sit and watch, we know it’s important what happens in the World Cup 2014. We watch it not only for the fun and enjoyment of it, but because this is a unique event that unites countries, cultures and makes them one. For one month and a few days all we are going to talk about and hear about is FIFA, Benzema, Brazil, Maracanã, Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Ochoa, Casillas and many other names.

This means people will be using more social media, viewing more websites and making up excuses about being late because they stay up until too late to watch a match, so all these possible scenarios bring us to THE question: Does the FIFA World Cup affect our workplace? For some the answer might be yes, for others it might be no. First of all everybody wants to be part of this multicultural event and they want to stay tuned to each match and each goal; second of all this can help to improve the workplace. Why? The World Cup unites countries, cultures and so it does with our co-workers. Watching the games can help your work team build a stronger relationship, and if they are close this will bring them closer. In a recent article published by Employee Benefit News Halley Bock, president and CEO of Fierce, Inc., recommends that we use events such as the World Cup to implement three workplace benefits. These three benefits will benefit our employees and our company as well. The first thing we should do is “Host off-site events”, according to Bock this “helps build rapport among co-workers that will lead to a more fulfilling relationship in the workplace.” Bock also recommends “Talking to employees’ about their favorite teams; this can help co-workers to build a stronger connection. Bock explains that “when you get your employees really connected to the leadership of the company, we all are aware how profitable that can be for businesses to have a very productive, engaged workforce where you have got a lot of friends, or folks with common interests.” Last but not least, Bock suggests that, “Allowing fun into the workspace” can help to make your office a less stress zone. She says that “employees that are less stressed are less likely to burn out” this is an important thing because when our employees are stressed there can be a lot of tension in the office and this can create conflict or even affect their performance.

As well as establishing stronger bonds between co-workers on the workplace, The Guardian suggests that “the World Cup is an opportunity for employers to improve engagement with their staff and boost morale.” One of the most popular advices between companies in many countries is that both, employees and employers reach an agreement regarding time off, sickness, and absences, and even watching games during the work hours. In places like England and United States businesses are implementing rules for their employees during the World Cup. For example here at Wovenware we have established a designated area for an LED Monitor that shows the live games so everyone can watch and hear the games while they work. We take breaks of 5 minutes to discuss some of the events of the game and our favorite teams as well as who we think will win. This is very helpful for our workplace because it has improved communication between team members and created better working bonds. Even the ones that haven’t watch soccer in their lives are involve in the discussions and are interested in the games.

In conclusion, does the FIFA World Cup affect our workplace? Well I don’t know what you think but in my opinion it does. I know it’s a huge and important event, I like it too … but when we don’t establish some basic ground rules it can affect our performance and can create conflict. But, we CAN establish an area or allow everyone in the office to take a break to check the scores and watch a little bit of the games. As we’ve read, these events benefit our workspace, employees see that employers are interested in their favorite teams, the scores, the matches, and they feel more relax and comfortable in the workplace. Having a fun environment is not a bad thing as long as we create rules and our employees complete their assigned tasks on time. Remember that giving your employees the chance to watch the matches and talk about this event benefits the company too; and this is just a temporary arrangement.

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One Response to “FIFA World Cup 2014 in the workplace”

  1. Akshera Rai

    The FIFA World Cup, if not managed effectively at the work place, could affect an employee’s performance or create conflict, as you’ve rightly mentioned above. From a manager’s perspective it becomes very important to strike a balance between encouraging the event at work and managing your team members’ performance during an engrossing game event such as the World Cup. I found the following article very helpful in managing my team and ensuring that productivity at the office wasn’t affected during the FIFA excitement.