How to Watch the World Cup and Stay Productive at Work

As someone who doesn’t really have an interest in football, well aside from Tottenham and even then I prefer rugby, I have not really bought into World Cup fever. Furthermore, as I am trying to build my business, I can’t really justify skiving in the afternoons to watch the matches! That’s not say I’m all work and no play…  after all, I did delay my start to the week by an hour on Monday so I could go paddle boarding on the river.

To build a successful business you have to find people who are willing to do business with you and, while my strategic communications consultancy is progressing very positively, I’ve noticed that a lot of people just aren’t as quick to respond as usual. Now this might be down to the fact that it’s approaching holiday season, that people with older kids who have finished exams might be spending time with them, or that the weather is so damn nice people are finishing work early to nip off to the nearest beer garden. But I suspect that it’s the World Cup that’s, ironically, making people take their eye off the ball.

So here’s my tips on how you can balance watching the World Cup while remaining productive at work (apart from wishing for an early England exit):

  1. Install a TV in the office – at least then your staff will be there watching the football and hopefully doing some work at the same time
  2. If matches are on during the day, ask people to come in to work a bit earlier or leave a bit later so that they can take the time to watch the games during working hours and still get their work done
  3. Offer incentives to people who aren’t interested in football. Give them an afternoon off to thank them for their commitment while everyone else is glued to the TV
  4. Use it as an opportunity for different teams within the office to connect with each other. Sweepstakes, drinks with the games etc all do wonders for building morale and both professional and personal relationships
  5. Get clients involved. Organise a meeting which can then be followed by a trip to the pub to watch the match
  6. Plan in advance – if you know there is an important game coming up, make sure the work has been done before it starts
  7. Embrace it. It’s important to remember, thankfully for me, that the World Cup only happens once every four years. The more positively you embrace it, the more productive your employees will ultimately be. You don’t want to be the po-faced boss sat in the corner glaring at your team for choosing football over work. Trust me – if you do this, it will end up being an own goal and any type of productivity will go right out of the window!



JourneyJulia Herd