How Australian companies can minimise World Cup-related sickies

A Colombia fan. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
  • The majority (87%) of Australian human resource managers say at least one of their employees will call in sick the day after a major sporting event.
  • However, recruiter Robert Half says there is a way round this — just embrace the sporting event.
  • Research by Robert Half says shows 42% of HR managers believe that hosting company events to watch sporting events increases employee engagement and improves motivation.

It’s inevitable a certain percentage of staff will chuck a sickie after a big World Cup game.

But there is a simple way to deal with it — embrace the event.

Research by specialist recruiter Robert Half shows that companies organising office activities around major sporting events, such as the World Cup, increase their productivity and motivation levels among staff.

The overwhelming majority (87%) of HR managers say it is likely that at least one of their employees will call in sick the day after a major sporting event, with almost a quarter (22%) calling it “very likely”.

With World Cup matches falling very late at night or during the early hours of the morning in Australia, some Australian businesses will inevitably be dealing with some tired staff as the tournament progresses.

However, many Australian workplaces are embracing the idea of watching major sporting events in the office because this tends to decrease absenteeism and increase staff morale and cameraderie.

More than one in four (42%) HR managers say hosting company events to watch major sporting competitions increases employee engagement.

Another 40% deem it to have a positive effect on motivation levels and almost a third (31%) believe company events will increase employee loyalty.

“Soccer is very close to the heart of many Australians, and many workplaces can expect some slight disruptions over the next two weeks as workers turn their attention to the World Cup finals,” says Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia.

“However, as sporting fever grips, it’s important not to let the Cup’s festivities impact employee performance, especially as workplace absences can impact a business’s bottom line.”

“To counter any loss in productivity and performance, Australian bosses can take this opportunity to boost team morale by opting to host a special office event and organise other related activities to the World Cup finals. This also helps accommodate Australia’s international workforce as many workers from overseas are keen to watch their home country compete.”

The annual study is developed by Robert Half by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Human Resources managers in Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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