Businesses can expect a high level of interest in the Euros among their employees, and in the World Cup next year, and in the Premiership next month, and in the Olympics coming soon.  Sport can take over! England, Scotland, and Wales all qualified for the tournament in 2020 (last month); all of Europe’s big nations have qualified; and many games were held at Wembley and Hampden Park in Glasgow (including the semi-finals and final at Wembley). Football season is coming soon, which means making small talk about football at work—either the day after the game to analyse the ins and outs, or the day before to dissect the buildup. It appears to have the potential to take a significant amount of time away from the workday, which makes any business owner anxious. After all, you want your workers to be productive. 

Can football build a work culture, or is it a distraction? Is it something that brings people together, or a diverse force that can cause arguments and upset and a needless distraction? 

Whether you’re a football lover or not, you’re undoubtedly aware how much the Euro’s affected your office and your business meetings for the past 2 months.  Now comes the build up to the new season, and then the World Cup Qualifiers.   Whether it was the flags, frontpage headlines, or a giddy employee who could not stop talking about the event, I am sure that it impacted you at work in some way. 

Major athletic events, such as the Euros, The Olympics, the World Cup and other matches are broadcast throughout the world. As a result, it’s likely that some of your staff will be watching the games. As more people get passionate about football, the biggest concern that emerges is how it will affect job productivity. Are people so engrossed in fantasy sports and games that they neglect their jobs during football season?

Football fever, mixed with some much-needed sunshine, might encourage people to come together. Allowing employees to enjoy a significant event, like watching England in the Semi’s or the Final, can bring people together and mean that they bond over the experience. It is something in common that a lot of people have. It is something that can be enjoyed, discussed and analysed from any perspective.  

If you enjoy football, it is easy to talk about it. If you hate football, you can talk about the team work, the inspirational messages from the players, the back story, the history of the game and the people within it, or simply the European geography and why England have to play in Rome.  Isn’t it lovely to drink a bottle of red wine, whilst eating a pizza and looking at the Trevi Fountain? 

Letting employees participate in team sports benefits the organisation by helping to foster a culture of trust, engagement, and collaboration. Nowadays, the distinction between personal and professional life is quite hazy. Work/life synchronization no longer entails leaving work early to pursue personal objectives and interests outside of work. Going straight from work to the gym, or to watch the football can be an extension of work, but it can also help to see your boss in a different light and doing a different thing.  

There are of course people who don’t want to watch football, don’t understand it, dont like it, or simply don’t know anything about it.  In times when there is a sporting event on, these people can often get overlooked and a good team should include everyone within it.  

Is a team as good as their results?

Is a team as good as their strongest players, or their weakest players?

Team work is about involving everyone, and those who are less interested in Sport, should still be included in the team bonding experiences during sporting events.