How to deal with the World Cup during work hours

by | Nov 26, 2022

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Now the 2022 FIFA World Cup is fully underway, fans are getting excited to see how far their teams can progress in the tournament.

Understandably, many will want to watch their team play live on TV, but those unable to take time off may risk missing their chosen fixture. This could potentially pose a problem for some businesses, who may be dealing with absenteeism or a late flurry of annual leave requests.

Connor Campbell, business expert at NerdWallet, offers advice for business leaders during the World Cup, to help deal with employee requests to take time off to watch a game.

Explore flexible working arrangements


Not everybody will be able to watch their chosen game live due to different working commitments, but there are options for some business leaders. 

An easy way for businesses to accommodate employees wanting to watch the World Cup during work hours is to offer a flexible working pattern on that day, or to offer the chance to build up time in lieu before or after the game.

Be clear, early, on holiday request limits


If you are expecting a late rush for holiday requests before a big game, it may be worth notifying your employees as soon as possible that you will be approving time off on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may also want to be clear on any limits as to who can be off from each team at any given time.

Enjoy games at the workplace

A good team bonding exercise could be to watch selected games together at the office, which may prevent absenteeism during game days. So long as clear expectations are set as to what work needs to be picked up and when, the office screening could be a great way to bring people together.


Offer an external team-bonding activity

If you are able to do so, you could offer to take the team out for a few hours to a nearby location showing the match. If people aren’t into football, they could have the option of working during the game and taking time back on another day.

So long as all employees – football fans or not – are treated fairly, there are ways to keep everybody happy for such a one-off event.


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