World Cup in the Office: An employee engagement boon or bust?

July 2, 2014 Jeff Ford

Employee engagement & the WORLD CUPWhether you’re a die-hard soccer enthusiast or just joining in on the contagious excitement it brings, the World Cup is a memorable experience for all who participate in the fan frenzy.  From record breaking performances to violent biting episodes, we’ve seen it all. Or have we?

Many of the games are airing at odd times of the day, times when you or your colleagues are supposed to be working. Have you been sneaking peaks at the live online stream? Taking those 2 hour long lunch breaks? Or, are you having a company viewing party in the conference room? We sure watched the game in our conference room.  As you can tell by the picture,  even the President of the US and his team were watching as a team.

So, does taking a company break to watch the World Cup amplify employee engagement or decrease productivity?

Quite honestly I don’t have a clear yes or no answer, but I do have some insights on both sides of the issue.

For starters, being distracted by the game could lead to lagging tasks, shortened attention spans, and lower morale if the favored team gets beat out 2-1. Even if employees are working while watching the game; diversion is bound to happen. But, at the same time distraction exists in many forms. Whether it’s texting loved ones, popping up over the cubicle for a friendly chat, or reading the back of your water bottle, we all do it. Sometimes unknowingly. So why not have a targeted distraction, something that is going to be of use to you and your company?

Sports have a history of bringing people together, unifying even the most contrasting individuals. There is a certain pride that comes with watching your country play, a genuine fear for their ultimatum; there’s a single reputation on the line. The idea of watching a sports game together as a company may be off-putting to some, but behind the excitement lies something equally important: motivation. Just as the players work together to score a goal, you and your office are working together to achieve your business objectives. A little inspiration every now and then can do wonders. By allowing your employees to come together and watch the U.S. play, win or lose, you’re creating a relationship with your team.  You’re showing your employees that you care about their desires and interests. In turn you’re creating an atmosphere of respect in which employees will work harder because they appreciate you as a boss. When it gets personal, self-expectations rise, so does productivity.

With that said, I challenge you to think of the pros and cons of having ‘World Cup’ time in the office. Share your thoughts here.

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The post World Cup in the Office: An employee engagement boon or bust? appeared first on Perks.

 

About the Author

Jeff Ford

Jeff Ford is a co-founder of Perks and was the original architect of Perk’s SaaS incentive solution. Since the inception of the company, he has spearheaded the direction of everything from IT to Operations to Finance. He is passionate about technology and how the web has truly changed how we work and motivate our employees, partners and customers. Jeff’s background, prior to Perks, was spent as a solution architect, web developer and as a controller in the distribution and logistics industry. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting, from the University of Central Arkansas. He brings his dog Xee to work every day and considers himself lucky and proud to be a part of such a great team.

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