Home early for football?

11th June, 2012

Over half the businesses that responded to a Euro 2012 themed survey were happy to let staff leave work early to watch England’s opening match.

The snapshot poll was put together by Truro-based marketing agency, MPAD, and Penryn-based market research company, PFA Research and ran over three hours before kick off.

With the game against France due to kick off at 5pm, 54% of businesses owners said they were happy to left staff leave early to get home in time for the match.

Only 12% of business owners said they expected staff to work their usual hours, while 8% said they are happy for staff to the time off as part of their holiday allowance.

4% of businesses polled were going to provide a big screen for staff to watch the game at work, and another 4% answered ‘We’re in Cornwall so staff shouldn’t be watching England!’.

The survey also asked if allowing staff to take time off to watch international football matches sets a dangerous precedent for when it comes to other major sports events.

27% agreed strongly and 23% agreed somewhat.

However, 61% agreed that allowing staff to watch international football helps to build company morale.

Comments added to the survey included:

“I personally do not give a monkey’s about the football but the rest of the team do. I’d rather they work hard in the run up to the match and enjoy the time off than be distracted at work because they’re missing the match. It’s only once every four years (or two if you count the World Cup too) and England are bound to get knocked out early anyway!”

“I feel that saying you can’t leave early increases that chance of people not coming in to work at all, i.e. phoning in sick etc. I think by allowing them to leave early, staff feel that they are valued and will tend to be more helpful if, for instance, they have to work a little later or earlier on occasion. Also, by not allowing them to leave early, the time they are having to spend in the office is likely to be unproductive when they are constantly wondering what the score is, or texting friends and family.”

“I believe it important to have a give and take relationship with employees.”

“By making a exemption to normal working practices for a specific sporting event you either create a precedent for other staff members who may have no interest in say football but do for other sporting activity or create resentment that the minority who have a specific interest in football are being favoured over other staff members. It is far simpler to have a rule that does not make such exemptions and allows those staff members who wish to utilise their holiday entitlement to follow their particular sport to do so.”