Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

38% plan to miss work for World Cup

More than a third of people are planning to miss work to watch England play during the World Cup, a survey showed

More than a third of people are prepared to miss work to watch England play during the World Cup, according to a survey.

An estimated 38% of full-time workers aged 18 to 45 are planning to be out of the office to cheer their team, the YouGov survey found.

A total of 2,463 people were asked what they were likely to do to watch a particular match.

While 5% said they would take a sickie, 18% said they would go to the pub with friends or colleagues and 23% said they would take the day or half-day off. Respondents were allowed to give more than one answer.

The survey found 5% would be prepared to miss or reschedule their first day in a new job to watch a key game on television, 28% would reschedule a planned business lunch and 17% would defer a meeting with their boss. Almost half of respondents (48%) said being allowed to watch the key games would be the biggest booster to morale.

The survey was carried out for semiconductor company Telegent, which turns mobile handsets into portable televisions.

Spokeswoman Diana Jovin said: "People need a boost after 2009 and the World Cup is an opportunity for companies to profit from the spirit and energy that England matches generate. When people enjoy a good game together, they emerge with refreshed optimism.

"Intelligent employers will use this to their advantage, whether it's allowing staff to watch matches online or on their mobiles, huddled around a TV in reception or lunch room, or going to the pub."

International legal practice DLA Piper also urged UK businesses to allow flexible working. In a survey of 352 business leaders and HR professionals, the company found 51% were planning to offer flexible working to staff who wanted to watch the England games, with shift-swapping (33%), early finishes (59%) and late starts (35%).

But only 19% were planning to offer flexible working patterns for all World Cup matches and 76% planned to offer no flexibility at all to staff who do not follow football.

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