Whether you like it or not, football is set to invade your workplace. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting on June 14, expect coffee breaks, lunches and hallway chats to be dominated by talk of the beautiful game. Not to mention the people who will keep up with the latest scores during working hours – ten games in the group stages will take place during European working hours.
But don’t fear: this does not have to be a big waste of time and resources. Yes, the time spent fussing about football may not be spent on finalizing a report, advancing a project, or analyzing industry trends. (Indeed, estimates suggest that employees watching the 2010 World Cup during working hours could have costed as much as US$10.4 billion in lost production time.) But there are multiple ways to make up for this by embracing the tournament.
According to Gallup’s 2017 global survey, the State of the Global Workplace, only 15% of full-time workers are truly engaged at work. Almost a quarter of employees surveyed by recruitment agency Adecco said they don’t think their employer tries to improve their happiness. And don’t expect paychecks to do the job: the best predictor of workplace satisfaction, according to the Glassdoor research group, is the culture and values of the organization, while compensation and benefits were consistently rated among the least important factors.
The true bane of an organization’s existence is lack of engagement and job satisfaction among its employees. The World Cup is a timely opportunity to engage workers. With an estimated audience of 3.5 billion worldwide, it is the most-watched sporting event in TV history. Beyond the excitement of the tournament, it brings people together and allows them to bond with colleagues outside their normal work tasks.