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Dan Martin


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Stone Roses’ ticket scramble hits staff productivity hard


A rush to snap up tickets for the Stones Roses reunion concert this morning resulted in a huge dip in employee productivity, but should not be allowed to set a precedent, an employment lawyer has warned.

The cult Manchester band’s three nights of gigs at the city’s Heaton Park sold out in just 68 minutes, making them the fastest-selling rock concerts in UK history. While thousands of fans were left disappointed after failing to secure tickets, bosses were also left unimpressed as, according to employment law consultancy ELAS, staff productivity plummeted between 9.30am and 11am. 
A ‘snapshot poll’ of small businesses across the North West found that workforce productivity fell by around a third for most of the morning. 
Peter Mooney, ELAS’ head of employment, said: “The Stone Roses getting back together might be good news for music fans, but on today’s evidence, they’re not good news for the nation’s health, timekeeping or work ethic. As we often see when highly sought-after tickets go on sale during working hours, fans will stop at nothing to ensure that their jobs don’t get in the way of them joining the queue.”
As a result, absenteeism was around double last week’s levels, while workers who actually made it to their desks only got through about two thirds of their usual work load between trying to buy tickets and announcing to friends on Facebook or Twitter whether they had been successful or not, he added.
But while there was always room for employers to use their discretion over one-off events, Mooney warned HR professionals of the risks of turning a blind eye to such behaviour.
“The vast majority of employers allow staff to make the occasional personal phone call from their desk or deal with personal issues providing they then make up the time lost later,” he said. “The difficulty comes when their staff start to expect to be allowed 30 minutes to phone for tickets or to come in late so they can queue up for the latest ‘must have’ tickets,  toys, gadgets or computer games.”
Once a precedent for such behaviour has been set, it was very difficult for HR professionals and line managers to enforce stricter rules on other occasions, Mooney added.

3 Responses

  1. Tickets

    I go to a lot of gigs and shows. The simple option, and fairer to your employee and your colleagues, is to take "lunch" at whatever time the tickets go on sale.

    I am lucky that my boss likes to go to gigs too, and this solution seems to work well for both of us.

  2. Stone Roses Tickets

    — John McGurk

    I am always too slow off the mark and wish i had got the tickets to see Brown and his merry band. if I did it on work time I nor my employer woudl be too bothered.  In reality this is part  of the work/life balance/enmagment trade- off. The boundary between work and play is becoming blurred, people carry work home with smart devices and other hardware and increasingly making themselves available . They also commute to work and can’t be at the phone at home when these "spot opportunities" present themselves.   I travel a lot and my employer gets the benefit of that. in short its about flexiblity on both sides.  As long as its managed properly to business need then it can’t be such a bad thing. Doing it right we can get it back in spades. This is using a spurious  productivity argument to  to flog solutions.  As most economists and pyschologists know presenteeism and "nose to the grindstone"  philosophies can inbibit real (sustainable) performance. Sometimes,  its just the ticket to cut employees some slack, rather than automatically going for the policing option.



  3. moaning squares

    Peter Mooney, you square.

    The resurrection has happened. In times of hardship brought on by your Tory government (I presume you voted for them), the reformation of the seminal Manchester pop group the Stone Roses is exactly what the world has been waiting for.

    Yes, productivity may have dropped for 90 precious minutes but the spring in the step given by recieving said tickets easily balances it out.

    My advice to you my friend is to live a little.

    Sit back in your cosy armchair. Turn out the lights. Pour yourself a drink and put the Stone Roses eponymous debut album on. Not loudly. It’s a tender moment. Let the sound wash over your body and let it enter your fun-starved soul. When Ian, John, Mani & Reni created this piece of art (because that is truly what it is), we were stuck in the middle of repressive Conservative rule. Unempolyment was on the rise and the public were rioting. 22 years later and we are back to square one. We need this light in our lives again.

    Welcome back lads. Don’t let Peter Mooney spoil our fun. 

    "I am the Resurrection and I am the light"

    Peace and love.

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Dan Martin


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