Will you play ball with flexible working?

07 June 2016

You’ll no doubt be aware that some of this year’s important matches are taking place during typical working hours. And, it’s likely some of your workforce are going to be interested in watching them.

Our Employment Law solicitor, Warren Moores has provided some advice on how to keep both spirits and productivity high during the football (and Wimbledon, and the Olympics…)

Embrace the Summer of Sport

This summer will see a lot of sport and as an employer you can make this work in your favour.

Treat it as an opportunity to engage your team and you can avoid having to deal with difficult HR issues such as absence, hangovers, productivity issues and even offensive or inappropriate behaviours.

Your flexibility can be rewarded by loyalty and engagement from employees if they feel valued. This can in turn increase motivation and productivity.

Communicate the plan

Don’t let your employees assume – decide what options you’ll make available and let your employees know in advance.

  • Will there be a TV or radio for live games?
  • Will flexible working be an option? How do they apply?
  • Are break times to be extended, and what if extra time/penalties happen?
  • Importantly, what are the limits? Are they expected to make up time, and if so, when?

Make all of this clear, and you’ll avoid confusion, blame and disruption during or after the event. If you do have to question behaviour or actions, you can refer back to the rules and expectations set out in your original communication.

Make it about more than just one game

With so many events this summer, the sporting calendar can be part of a bigger engagement piece – how about organising other activities around the sport? A British Bake Off event, sweepstakes and fancy dress competitions are only some of the examples we’ve heard to bolster engagement during the summer.

Yes, events such as these can impact on short term productivity, but balance is key as it can have long term positive impact too.

Treat everyone equal

As well as ensuring that all nationalities are represented during international activities, don’t forget about non-sporting fans. If they want to request similar rights for other events or reasons at any time, consider them at both a group and individual level.

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