Blog Post

World Cup Fans to Employers: Show the Games at Work, or Else

Employers in the UK and in Latin America can expect their workers to miss a significant amount of man hours over the month-long 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament — unless those employees can find ways to watch the games at work. Surveys sponsored by mobile-TV firm Telegent Systems and conducted by research firm YouGov show a willingness on the part of workers in the UK, Mexico and Brazil to miss work or even watch matches on their mobile phones while on the clock so as not to miss any of the action.

Nearly 40 percent of full-time employees in the UK said they’d miss work in order to watch a World Cup game live, according to the survey. A full 28 percent said they’d reschedule a business lunch in order to watch the games, while 17 percent said they’d reschedule or even miss a meeting with their boss.

In Brazil and Mexico, which also have a large number of football fans, about 30 percent of survey respondents said they’d skip or reschedule a training session or business lunch if there were a vital match being shown at that time. Another 20 percent said they’d skip out on a meeting with their boss or choose not to attend a conference to see their team play.

So how should employers keep their workers from feigning illness or rescheduling vital business meetings? The survey shows that in the UK, as well as in Mexico and Brazil, the key to keeping people at work is to broadcast the matches there. More than 56 percent of workers in Mexico and Brazil said that being able to watch the matches live at work would boost morale. Meanwhile, 48 percent of full-time employees under 45 in the UK said it would have a positive impact on morale, compared to 20 percent who said that they’d prefer to have the day off.

Another option? Being able to watch matches on their mobile phones. More than 70 percent of respondents in Brazil and Mexico said they would watch live football matches on mobile devices while at work, if the game was not available any other way.

With events like March Madness, we’ve seen that workers will watch sports content on the biggest screen available at any given time. Since football matches from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which runs from June 11 to July 11, will be broadcast live from South Africa, that means that, at least in the U.S. and Latin America, many matches will be broadcast during daytime work hours, so watching on a mobile device — if available — won’t be completely unheard of.

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