World Cup Fans Tell Employers to Show Games at Work, Or Else

May 07, 2010 - Cape Town, South Africa - epa02147211 A South African soccer supporter has his photograph taken with the World Cup trophy at the launch of the South Africa FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa 07 May 2010. The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour of South Africa kicked off in Khayelitsha and will travel from 7 May to 6 June through 38 cities and towns across all nine provinces of South Africa giving the public the chance to view and photograph the trophy.

Companies in the UK and in Latin America better ready themselves for a month of low attendance, low productivity and low morale if they don’t find a way to let employees view World Cup matches this summer if a recent survey conducted by YouGov is to be believed.  

The survey produced results from members of the work force in the UK, Mexico and Brazil and showed just how willing employees were to miss work or watch matches on mobile devices while at work as to not miss any action. In the UK alone, the survey proved 40% of workers would miss work to watch a game that was currently being played. 17% even said they’d reschedule a meeting with their boss if it meant taking in a game.

In Brazil and Mexico, 30% said they’d miss out on vital training or a business lunch while 20% would blow off their boss to catch their team. Not surprising results to me in the least. In fact, I’d initially thought numbers would be higher.

So what’s a business to do? In the US, employers are used to this kind of behavior each and every March when the NCAA College Basketball Tournament tips off. Many will schedule vacation or paid time off in advance to avoid these such situations while others rue their bad luck when they miss out seeing their team play. In the NCAA Tournament, like the World Cup, multiple games are played throughout the day at odd and early hours which force fans of college basketball to lie, sneak and feign illness quite frequently.

The survey concludes by showing that the vast number of workers in the UK, Mexico and Brazil believe the way to keep workers at work is to show matches there, while it would also boost morale among employees.

Working full time myself, at least to start the tournament, I’ll be using my DVR to record matches every day while I attempt to avoid blogs, twitter and pretty much the Internet in general in hopes I won’t find out match results. The games broadcast in HD on the ESPN family of networks will be all the more enjoyable to me when I’m able to watch them after work with friends and family.

If it was up to me, I’d take the whole month off to enjoy the tournament live in it’s entirety. Because let’s face it, for the next month straight I’ll have nothing else on my mind except football anyway, my productivity and desire to preform at work will severely suffer as I try to analyze the previous days matches and somehow convince myself that England will win the tournament.

So what should employers do? If you live in the UK, has this been brought up at your work? If you are to remain at work, will you be attempting to watch online or from your mobile device? Leave a comment in the section below and good luck.

12 thoughts on “World Cup Fans Tell Employers to Show Games at Work, Or Else”

  1. Already have off for all of Englands weekday games so far. Will use more time once we get through the group stage.

    Going to be a great summer for sure.

  2. I heard on the radio today that every school in England is either closing early or showing the game in school on a huge screen
    Country wide school shutdown, I can’t imagine that happening for anything else.

    1. Got the 2nd week off, and will be able to see all of England’s group matches. The rest of the World Cup will be taken “as needed”.

  3. I remember when I was in school they changed the times for the exams and let us watch the World Cup in school. The following World Cup I was working and we all got a lengthy break as we sat and watched the World Cup at work 😀

    This year I’ve got time off for every single England scheduled game and it’s paid time off. Honestly the best part of the World Cup is often the big giant TV screens they put up. On a hot summers day you have an army of people in close vicinity to a shopping center. Here in Manchester a lot of people will be sitting on the grass in the sunshine looking at huge screens showing the match.

    Upon goals the celebrations would wake up a corpse. Our street celebrations are probably not as colorful as the parades, fireworks and drums that other nations do though but the pub and open TV screen celebrations are a lot of fun to be a part of.

    During the last world cup over the course of big games you could walk into a retail store that sells clothes and the person behind the counter and several people in the queue would be busy staring at a TV screen. You can go into nearly any business and see that during the World Cup.

    The queues get huge as nobody is willing to make a transaction till the play is over and the ball is back in the midfield. Try going into a pub and getting a beer with less than an hour of waiting.

    The way football grips this and many other football nations is staggering

  4. As excitement grows for the upcoming FIFA World Cup beginning shortly in South Africa, there is a part of the World Cup that many sports fans will not see. The workers stitching soccer balls in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand continue to experience alarming labor rights violations even 13 years after the soccer ball industry signed the “Atlanta Agreement” committing to clean up the industry. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) released a new report titled “Missed the Goal for Workers: the Reality of Soccer Ball Stitchers in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand” today. The research found that the decade-long effort by governments, companies, and other stakeholders to eliminate child labor in this industry has seen only limited success. Child labor still exists in soccer ball production in India and Pakistan.

    We are asking members of the soccer community to petition FIFA and other soccer governing bodies to demand a change.

    To learn more, please visit the ILRF’s Foulball campaign page:

  5. We have a big TV in one of our rooms at work but while I’m sure I’d be allowed to watch it while working if I ask, I’d prefer to keep the two separate – I won’t fully able to concentrate on work with the game on, and I won’t fully be able to enjoy the occasion if I’m hard at work. I’ve taken a few days off for the first week and hope to organise my hours to avoid clashes with games. But ultimately I wouldn’t to specifically request time off work or within work to watch football – not that it doesn’t matter to me but I think an employer who happily let his employees have football on at work might make them feel that their hard work isn’t as necessary as has been let on.

  6. Since I am unemployed and my wife and I are expecting our first child any day now, I will have lots of time to introduce her to the beautiful game. Okay, she’ll probably sleep through most of it, but that’s okay. I plan to watch every single match. My wife fully supports me on this and has even encouraged me to find a pub to watch the big matches. One neighborhood here in Atlanta has announced plans to block off a large street and put up a screen. Can’t wait for this Saturday.

  7. Good for the businesses. They are paid to work and bosses expect their people to come to work if healthy.

    If you want to fly with the eagles at night, roll around with the pigs in the morning

  8. atalanta pompey u seem like knowlegdeable us fan its a shame morons like kartik talk bollocks an corrupt us minds


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