Showing Sporting Events at Work – Yes or No?

Showing Sporting Events at Work – Yes or No?
10 months ago

It’s a debate that takes centre stage whenever a significant sporting event and opportunity to make history comes around – should employers broadcast sporting events at work?

In this post, Quality Company Formations explore the pros and cons of showing sporting events in the workplace and determine whether it’s a beneficial practice. Let’s get started.

The pros of showing sporting events at work 

Boosting employee morale 

One of the most powerful plus sides of showing sporting events in the workplace is its unique ability to unite people, regardless of their backgrounds, under one common passion.

The experience of viewing a sporting event as a team can foster a strong sense of camaraderie and improve team morale, giving employees a shared interest to come together on, discuss and celebrate.

Promoting attendance and engagement 

Banning your employees from viewing a historic sporting event could potentially lead to a number of scenarios, each impacting productivity and engagement. For example, you might find that you suddenly receive an influx of holiday requests or excuses to arrive late to shifts or leave early. It may prove challenging to approve them all which runs the risk of upsetting morale when having to choose between employees and departments to grant time off.

For those who do enjoy a day of annual leave, possible alcohol consumption during the event could detract their engagement with work for the next day/s that follow due to hangovers.

Meanwhile, staff who don’t feel they can request time off may feel the urge to call in sick so that they can stay at home to watch the event, leading to an unpredictable rise in absences. And for those who do attend the office, the temptation to check the internet and social media sites to follow the score or highlights may pose a distraction to their work throughout the day.

Giving staff the freedom and flexibility to watch the event and check in and out as they please can help to minimise the above scenarios, enabling employees who do wish to view the event to plan it into their working week and make efforts to increase productivity around the timings of the match.

Improving employee well-being 

The global rise in burnout is highlighting the need to prioritise employee well-being in the workplace. Without this focus, employers risk dissatisfied employees and high turnover.

Allowing occasional breaks to enjoy sports can be a great way to help staff members recharge and return to their tasks with renewed energy and focus. Additionally, viewing events together can contribute to a positive work culture, sending out a message that your company values employees’ interests, in turn enhancing loyalty and job satisfaction.

The cons of showing sporting events at work 

Inclusivity and diversity 

While sporting events can be highly effective at bringing people together, irrespective of their backgrounds, they can also have an adverse effect. Not all employees may share an interest in sports. For those who aren’t enthusiastic about the events being shown, it might create feelings of exclusion and alienation.

While differing preferences and allegiances in sports can lead to friendly banter, they can also escalate into conflicts and divisions between opposing fans.

Maintaining a professional environment 

While a relaxed atmosphere is important for employee well-being, maintaining a level of professionalism is also crucial. Excessive enthusiasm and noise during sporting events could disrupt the work environment and give off an unprofessional image to clients or visitors.

Impacting productivity 

One of the major concerns associated with showing sporting events at work is the potential impact on productivity. Employees may become distracted from their tasks, leading to delayed projects and missed deadlines. The enthusiastic atmosphere could disrupt performance not only during the event but for the remainder of the working day for both those choosing to the view the game and those opting out.

Final thoughts 

The decision of whether or not to show sporting events at work may initially seem like a straightforward yes or no choice, however the answer requires careful consideration and will depend on a variety of factors, some more complex than others.

On one hand, it can foster camaraderie, boost employee morale, and create a sense of community. On the other hand, concerns about productivity, inclusivity, and maintaining a professional atmosphere come into play.

You’ll need to consider the type of industry and environment you operate in, the potential impact on client interactions, and the possible effects on staff performance.

Facilitating flexibility wherever possible and communicating with staff and clients to learn their individual preferences can help you form a decision that best suits your workplace, while setting some expectations can help to strike the perfect balance between a positive and productive workplace culture.

For more helpful insights and business advice like this, head to Quality Company Formations. 


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