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Rugby World Cup

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Rugby World Cup

With the Rugby World Cup beginning on the 18th September and finishing on the 31st October you may notice (or already have done) over this period some disruption from employees. Whilst many matches occur during evenings and weekends, it is important to consider any effects such events may have on business and any interference which can be minimized. In light of this please see below some tips for you to deliberate for any upcoming events.
1.Can sport be watched?
If fixtures are usually held during employees working hours, it is beneficial to consider any possibilities which would allow staff to be kept up to date regarding the competition when at work. For instance, could you allow staff to follow matches during their breaks?
If you have a strict policy in place covering employees usage of the internet at work it would be advisable to remind employees of this, and/or any rules you are prepared to be lenient on in light of the occasion. However if your policy is quite vague, upon such events occurring you should take this good opportunity to clarify your position to employees, to make clear what they may and may not do. For example, if employees can watch live matches using the company’s resources, but only outside of working hours, please ensure this is communicated.
3.Working hours
If you have a team of employees which you know are dedicated to a sport, and the World Cup, Olympics, etc may be likely to affect their performance at work, putting in place measures to prevent this is always ideal. In this regard, it is beneficial to consider if you could be flexible with employees working hours. For instance, could you allow for employees to leave early to allow them to get home to watch a game, but make this time up appropriately? This is because it may avoid employees being distracted at work by the clock and counting down their time to leave. Plus, if such flexibility can be permitted, it may avoid staff spending time moaning about how much they want to watch a game and put this time to being productive instead.
As sports events are usually held at various venues throughout competitions some employees may require holiday to cover any time off they need to attend such events. In addition, some employees may get hold of tickets close to the date of games and so request time off last minute. As an employer, it is advisable to communicate with staff, prior to such competition taking place, how annual leave will be granted in accordance with your holiday policy and if this time off can be accommodated, thus dependant on business needs, to avoid any disgruntled employees.
Whilst some sports are often a friendly game to watch and discuss some employees passion towards such sport can sometimes impact their behaviour and attitude towards others, and so it is important to remind staff how their behaviour at work should remain professional. Therefore informing staff how they may discuss the events with their colleagues is fine to do however their language and behaviour during such conversations should under no circumstances become unprofessional, should reduce the likelihood of employees demonstrating the wrong attitude/behaviour at work.
Making employees aware of what is expected of them is crucial and can defer employees from any acts of rebellion, like phoning in sick or turning up late so they can watch the match. If you experience any issues during a tournament or wish to discuss this article further please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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