Businesses warned that one in seven workers could skip work to watch the Rugby World Cup

5th August, 2015

A leading jobs website has warned British Businesses to embrace the upcoming Rugby World Cup or risk a flood of unauthorised absences.

England is hosting the tournament later this year, with matches running from the 18th September to the 31st October.

A recent study performed by CV library revealed that one in seven workers said they may skive off to watch matches, which could mean a potential 4.4 million absentees nationally.

Although 60% plan to watch the tournament, only 5.8% of staff booked holiday to watch the games.

It seems that the problem does not just lie with those who skive off either, with 40.7% of the 2115 professionals surveyed planning to watch matches at work.

This figure was higher amongst managers, with 48.5% planning to sneak a peak of matches from their desks.

While these figures seem staggeringly high, Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, points out that it’s not all bad news for business.

Biggins suggests that the Rugby World Cup will provide an opportunity to motivate workers and if correctly managed, it can “increase staff morale and job satisfaction”.

“Planning ahead and considering ways to embrace international events in the workplace, can actually reduce disturbance and avoid staff taking unauthorised leave.”

61.7% of staff believe businesses should show support for international sporting events, with 81.8% reporting that events such as the Rugby World Cup are good opportunities to bond with staff, regardless of whether they enjoy the chosen sport or not.

Despite this however, only one in ten businesses currently use international events for team building.

Businesses in London seem to be the most in tune with the concept, with 53.2% of workers reporting that their employer plans to screen Rugby World Cup games at work.

However those in the North East were the least fortunate, with 66% of workers surveyed saying that their firm had no plans to show the matches at all.

The first game of the tournament - England vs. Fiji - takes place on Friday 18th September, but employers will be pleased to hear that it kick’s off outside working hours - at 8:00pm.

What is your business doing during the World Cup? Do you think that staff should be allowed to watch the games at work? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

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