A soccer ball sitting on the grass in front of various miniature flags depicting the World Cup
Image: kovop58/Shutterstock

Is the World Cup affecting your productivity?

18 Jun 2018

How many World Cup matches overlap with your working day? Will you still find a way to watch them?

The FIFA World Cup officially kicked off on Thursday 14 June, but what kind of effect is it having on employees during work?

While the World Cup brings excitement to football fans around the world, it might see productivity drop for the month of matches, depending on what country you live in.

It’s not only avid football fans who want to keep one eye on the score. With a huge number of people participating in World Cup draws between friends and colleagues, distraction is sure to hit those who work during those critical hours when matches are played.

But what employees – or rather, employers – will be most affected? Thanks to the below infographic from Statista, we know which countries will have the most overlap between World Cup matches and working hours of 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Infographic from Statistica that shows how many hours of World Cup matches overlap with average working days.

Infographic: Statista

Naturally, time zones are the biggest factor for these overlaps, which means that more than 60 hours of World Cup action will be played during regular working hours in Rio.

Meanwhile, employers in large parts of Asia and Australia can relax because of the games starting at night.

Less might mean more

Despite the added distractions for employees while the World Cup is happening, employers shouldn’t panic about waning productivity in their staff.

Similar to having a humorous and light-hearted atmosphere at work, employees getting lightly distracted – especially for something as specific and finite as the World Cup – can actually raise staff morale and make people better workers in the long run.

After all, enforcing rules to make sure your employees are working every available minute of the day is a false economy because it can lead to a bad company culture and burnout.

Not only that, but letting your mind wander has been proven to lead to creativity by helping your mind get out of that ‘stuck in a rut’ feeling.

Who knows, you might even come up with your next big idea while you’re being innocently distracted by the next match.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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