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Harnessing the World Cup Effect in the Workplace

Are you ready for the World Cup?

Are you ready for the World Cup?

Now the interest around the election and the coalition government has died down, we’ve moved on to the next media frenzy – the World Cup. And the papers are, as expected, full of the effect that the competition will have for retailers in a number of sectors. Of course there will be a predicted rise in sales of new flat screen or high definition TVs – during the last World Cup, Curry’s said it was selling one TV every minute. And during the tournament in 2006 sales of beer, sausages, pizza and barbecue meats increased by £120 million for every week that England remained in the tournament. Hard hit pubs, clubs and off licences will be hoping that this tournament will deliver the same kinds of incremental revenue as it did in 2006 – over £250 million.

A positive spin – work and the World Cup

But perhaps the least documented (and most interesting) effect of the World Cup Effect is likely to be the increased positivity (and productivity) in the workplace. A survey commissioned at the time of the 2006 World Cup discovered that 70% of men and 62% of women in England said the World Cup would make an impact on their working lives – boosting morale, creating a team spirit and providing opportunities for social interaction. 47% of women and 40% of men said that sporting success lifts their mood and makes them more productive in their jobs. Not only this, but talking sport at work is seen as a great leveller, helping to break down barriers between managers and staff. The ups (and inevitable downs) of England’s performance in the forthcoming competition will create shared moments that will pull together even the most disparate individuals on the team.

And after the penalties?

So, rather than seeing the World Cup as a bit of a diversion from day to day business, smart managers will be using these 4 weeks to improve staff relations and create better team dynamics: building social occasions around key games and encouraging conversations and opinions around the event. Embracing the positivity created by the World Cup will create an atmosphere in the workplace that will last well beyond England’s exit from the competition.