World Cup Fever *cough cough!*

Posted on June 16, 2014 by


I don’t know if you’re aware, but apparently there’s some sort of football tournament going on just now? A World Cup you say?

Ha-ha! I’m kidding!

Yep…it’s pretty hard to ignore the current sporting activities in Brazil! Even I (someone who usually tries to block out all football-related chat) have been sucked into the ‘fever’ a little bit. I have Croatia in the work sweeper…apparently I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

As the frenzy continues to grow, this week UP’s Lisa McKay, one of our Senior HR Consultants, takes a look a the impact of the World Cup on office life:

Lisa McKay

Lisa McKay

Eleven games down – 52 to go!  Or to put it another way 30 days until the end of the FIFA World Cup 2014.  Or perhaps I’m not entering into the spirit of things quite as much as I could.

Love it or loath it, you can’t fail to be aware that the World Cup started on Thursday. And although Scotland, yet again, failed to qualify, an estimated 2/3s of the UK population will be enthusiastically following the TV coverage.

Here at The Urquhart Partnership we decided to have our own sweep stake, just to make things (more?) interesting. I have been lucky enough to draw England and Japan as my winning teams…………

5 weeks of football coverage may seem appealing to many but will there be any impact on businesses?

This morning, in preparation for writing this I Googled “World Cup Sick Days” and was faced with a huge number of articles anticipating a sharp increase in sickness absence on the days of matches and, perhaps more often, the days following matches. So what can we do to mitigate ‘World Cup Fever’?


Encouraging staff to book planned days off as holidays, or if you’re able to accommodate it, as unpaid leave will allow you to plan workloads and cover any absences. Try to get teams to negotiate amongst themselves who can have which days off and cover for each other. This will hopefully also reduce the number of sick days, as staff will know that by being off they are making more work for others in their team.


With many games kicking off at the end of the working day, there may be requests to finish early.  Also, with late night fixtures, sleep-deprived workers may wish to start later. It may help to look at how flexible your organisation can be to accommodate this – rather than having people call in sick and not be there at all.

If you can’t beat ‘em……

Another option may be to jump on the bandwagon and use this as an opportunity to get people together, united in their mutual support – or derision – of their choice of team. A work night out? A TV set up in the board room? A good excuse to have some fun?

Whatever you do, there may well be some impact on your organisation during the next few weeks. At least it’s only every four years. C’mon Japan!

If you would like to speak to any of the team for HR advice – World Cup related or otherwise – why not give us a call?