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As the Euro 2012 tournament in the Ukraine and Poland gets underway on Friday and excitement is building in England and The Republic of Ireland as their teams prepare to kick off their campaigns in the next week. England start their campaign on Monday 11th June against France in what is expected to be their toughest game of the group. Even with expectation at an all time low and a mounting injury crisis it would still be a big shock if England were to exit the tournament in the group stage.
Ireland have even less pressure on them, drawn in what could arguably called “the group of death” with Italy, Spain and Croatia (who famously knocked England out in Qualifying for the Euro 2008 tournament). The Irish have nothing to lose and under Giovanni Trapattoni have looked very difficult to beat. Rumour has it they will look to play a 4-5-1 formation which will be difficult to breakdown even for teams like the reigning World and European champions who on paper look to be the strongest outfit yet again.
So whilst most of the UK is getting excited SME’s are worried about the effect the tournament will have on their offices and are gearing up to attempt to deal with what is expected to be high number of absentees during the month long championship.
As tournaments go, with only an hour time difference the effect on offices around England and Ireland shouldn’t be as great as they have been in years gone by. However, the effect on requests for holidays and sick days caused by hangovers due to excessive partying may cause SME’s a staffing headache.
A provisional flexible working agreement has been suggested by some businesses, whereby staff can build up hours to watch matches by making up the hours in advance, however this doesn’t solve the issue of the office being short staffed on game days, for example if no one is around to order the office stationery, then someone else then has that headache and the knock on effect can be extremely damaging to employee productivity.
But what for those who haven’t caught “football fever”, in the interest of fairness in the workplace those who are not interested in the European Championship need to be offered the same options as those looking to bank their hours. Business owners need to be shown not to be discriminating.
However it’s not all doom and gloom for Businesses. The good news is that it’s an excellent cost effective way to boost staff morale. Up and down the country people will be scrunching up the A4 paper ready to draw the office Euro 2012 sweepstake teams out of the hat. Some businesses are making the most of the opportunity by putting a television in the office or staff room. Taking advantage of these opportunities rather than seeing them as a negative is the key to successfully negotiating a tricky month.
Try not to panic but the Olympic Games is coming …
Posted at: Tuesday, 12 June 2012