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Managing ‘Qatar World Cup 2022’ in your workplace

One of the biggest sporting fixtures of the year is here. Although laced with controversy, and seeing an underwhelming buildup this winter, managing Qatar world cup 2022 fever in the workplace should still be considered. 

The tournament is taking place between 20th November and 18th December, and some of the matches will be played during what for many will be normal working hours, so what are some of the things to think about?

Looking for some help with other HR issues you may find yourself dealing with such as employees pulling a sickie or lateness and absence?

Take a look at our blog Football Frenzy – Four Issues Employers May Need to Tackle, with more help and guidance on common issues. 

Employees Showing Support

Some football fans may be keen to show support for their team in the workplace. This may involve having team merchandise in their work area, putting up flags or wearing football shirts at work.

From a HR perspective, whether employers choose to allow such things is likely to be influenced by the roles employees carry out, any existing policies, past approaches to similar events and the message the business wishes to send to staff.

If you do allow support for teams to be demonstrated, it’s important to ensure that the rules are applied fairly and equally – not all employees will support the same team (…or any team at all).

Remember that employees shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in the workplace because team support or team rivalries have been allowed to get out of hand.

In particular, be mindful of harassment as this can happen unintentionally, for example if jokes are made about race or nationality which have the effect of creating a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment for another employee.

As you may be aware, your business can be held liable for harassment committed by employees in the course of their employment.

If you have not already done so, make sure your discrimination, harassment and bullying policies and training are up to date to help reduce the risk of things going wrong. If you think your employees could do with a reminder of your workplace rules or a training refresher, get in touch.

Harnessing Positive Energy

If employees are excited and in a positive mood this can be reflected in workplace morale and even productivity…if it is properly channeled!

As a manager you may need to keep an eye out to make sure employees stay on track and don’t get too distracted by football chat – or other topics for that matter.
If you feel things are beginning to slide don’t be afraid to start off by tackling it informally, often employees simply won’t have noticed they’ve got a bit carried away and the situation is easily dealt with.

Following the action whilst at work

Whilst some employees may request holiday to enable them to watch the matches they are interested in, this won’t be the case for all football fans.

Needless to say, some employees will be keen to keep up to date with the action whilst they are at work, this could be by watching part of a match using your equipment whilst on a break, having a match on in the background whilst working or checking scores on their phones during working time.

You should check your policies, company rules and past practice in advance and make sure your employees are aware of what is and isn’t permitted.

Thinking about changing your usual rules during the world cup in the future? Get in touch for a chat, its important to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and consistently and you could set a precedent by your approach. 

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