The 2014 World Cup starts this week on Thursday 12 June and continues with 63 matches until Sunday 13 July. Over the past few years, with more experience of successive large scale sporting events like the Olympics, generally a harmonious way to get through these periods, limiting productivity loss and avoiding a mass of disciplinary hearings, has been found. However, we think that it's still worth sending out a clear reminder of what is acceptable and what's not. Many employers have also successfully used these type of events to improve staff relations, camaraderie and team spirit – so a bit of forward planning may pay dividends.

The timetable

England's first three fixtures in the group stage are:

Most matches are in the evenings, some very late and some in the early hours. This obviously affects shift workers' ability to watch them live, but also bear in mind the knock-on effects on the following days of tiredness etc amongst those who work normal office hours. Consider the diversity of your workforce (those with different nationalities should also receive the same opportunity to support their country). Who will they be supporting and how can you help keep things in friendly rivalry mode?

Actions to take

A few suggestions:


A quick memo or email, circulated to all staff in advance, could cover all of the above points to remind employees of your rules and also to ensure that they are aware of any special measures that are in place.  The World Cup may present you with an opportunity to increase employee engagement and morale, so do try and use this to unite not divide.