16 June 2016

Did you watch the match?football

It was probably the biggest game of the Euro tournament for us Brits today: England vs Wales. The first time the two teams have met in an international competition in modern history, and, lucky for us, it was right in the middle of the afternoon with a 2pm kick off! That’s guaranteed to have an impact on productivity in business.

How do we manage this as business leaders?

Granted, not everyone is a football fan, but the football fever that takes over every few years is undeniable and spreads across the whole country.

Wait for the ‘sick’ leave calls to roll in, grant holiday leave for those who request it and spend the afternoon watching the team checking the score on their phones or the internet, or seeing the disgruntled faces of your team who are unable to watch the game.

I don’t think there’s much that’s worse than this for zapping the energy of a team.
It would be easy to feel that our hands are tied and we’re stuck in a no-win situation, simply hoping the all the home nation teams will crash out of the tournament quickly, but I prefer to take a different route.

Instead, we extended lunchtime, set up a huge screen and watched the match together with hot dogs, burgers and a few drinks. We’ve ordered hundreds of beanbags to sit on and had flags to wave and, giant inflatable footballs to kick about.

Of course, we’re a 24/7 business and we have clients to support, but to ensure that the teams manning the phones and offering this support are included in the fun, we set up screens at the end of each pod of desks and had food delivered to them too. The majority of the team who are less interested in football volunteered to stay on-hand for support, so that those who are big fans can enjoy it.

This extra 45 minutes of time to watch the match turned something that could have been incredibly demotivating for a team, into something that massively increases energy. It makes perfect sense.

These opportunities to have fun, to support our national teams and to make memories with your team only come around every now and again, especially a game like this; why not embrace it?

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