With just days to go until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, excitement is growing around the world. But how should you best deal with your employees' desire to keep track of the action?
Major sporting events often have a major effect on business performance, so to ensure you don't get caught out, here are five things every boss should be wary of over the next month.
First off, one of the most obvious effects the World Cup might have on your workforce is that of productivity. Although the majority of games won't be taking place during typical 9-5 work hours, people will still be discussing the previous night's game or upcoming matches, or browsing news and video sites in the office.
Multicultural workforces also mean different workers might be keen to leave early to support their own country, so bosses should prepare to be inclusive and promote flexible working hours in order to boost staff morale. "Whether you are continuing to develop an existing policy, or enabling your team to work flexibly for the first time, it's important to consider the impact that the tournament will have on your employees and workflow," says Tim Stone, VP at Polycom.
There's also the risk of workers overdoing it on a work night if watching a match in the pub and phoning in sick the next day, meaning flexible working could be ideal to get the best out of your employees. "Offering remote working will enable employees to work from home or on-the-go, in turn helping them to get their work done on time, while also getting to enjoy some football," says Barrie Hadfield, founder and CTO of enterprise and collaboration firm Workshare.
If workers are keeping up with the tournament during work hours, companies need to ensure that their networks can support this spike in data usage.
"I have heard of many companies whose internal networks have actually crashed due to the volume of video bandwidth during events such as the Olympics," says Daniel Rudich, SVP of CLM services provider Tangoe. "Given that an average HD football game can consume approximately 2-4 GB of data if you do not have unlimited data plans this can be very expensive given at the world cup each team plays at least 3 times in a month. "
Robert Arandjelovic, EMEA Director of Products and Solutions at Blue Coat, agrees, saying that businesses should look at real-time visibility into applications and network traffic to identify and separate business traffic from non-critical/recreational traffic.
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