As anticipation builds for the start of the World Cup in Brazil later today, a new study has found that allowing staff to stream live games while at work can help British businesses overcome the rise in ‘illnesses’ that seems to occur every four years.


Research has unveiled that, despite kick-off times falling in the evenings, employers should be better prepared to allow staff to watch the games during working hours to combat rising levels of staff absenteeism during the month-long tournament. 


A survey of more than 200 football fans in the North West, commissioned by business communications provider Daisy Group, found that more than half of the employees would consider skipping work to watch a crucial game this summer. It also found that 88% of respondents would happily work as normal if they were allowed to watch the game via live streaming.


Although the England matches won’t take place within traditional working hours of 9-to-5, a large proportion of British businesses require staff to work into the evenings, while many others face long commutes home and may ask to leave work early.


Matthew Riley, Daisy’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The World Cup is an important event in most people’s calendars and something that brings the nation together, so it comes as no surprise to see the lengths that people are willing to go to in order to watch the tournament.


“Aside from creating environments at work where staff can watch the games, such as big screens, businesses today have the opportunity to allow their employees to stream matches to their mobiles, tablets or desktop devices. As organisations across the UK continue to adopt bring-your-own-device strategies, many will already have the necessary policies in place to help deal with any security and bandwidth issues that may arise by staff watching the games. 


The research also suggested firms should take a proactive approach to preparing for sport’s biggest tournament.


Matthew added: “It’s important that HR departments plan ahead to cater for the disruptions caused by the late kick-offs which, coupled with the consumption of alcohol, could lead to decreased productivity the following day or even unauthorised absences.


“Being flexible and giving staff the option to watch the games should boost morale within the team.”