VOX POP: World Cup Fever - With absenteeism set to rise dramatically during the World Cup, how should companies ensure their staff stay at work?

GRAHAM POVEY, managing director, Capital Incentives

The only way to keep your football crazy staff motivated is to allow them to see the big games. I'd love to be able to screen the England games live in the office, but unfortunately, we don't have the space. An alternative is to offer flexible hours over the event. As most matches have early morning kick offs, if staff come in later and work later everyone wins - and of course, if England win, the atmosphere in the office that day will be highly motivational.

JOHN SYLVESTER, director-motivation, P&MM

Hide the whip and embrace it whole-heartedly. The World Cup offers a fantastic opportunity for both growing customer loyalty and staff motivation. Get a big screen in for England versus Nigeria and organise a breakfast bash for clients and staff. For the Argentina game make it a lunchtime to remember, run an office sweep-stake, then bask in the increased motivation.

So, harness the positive, rather than court sickies and the resulting negativity.

JONATHAN GRAY, co-founder, Ovation Incentives

The message to employers is clear - roll with it - 4 billion fans can't be subdued. Get the TV into the office - divert the phones and throw a party. For the two early England games put on a breakfast buffet for one and a lunch for the other. It's better to take a few hours off than lose the whole day due to absenteeism. Put together an attendance incentive scheme for June - motivate everyone with £50 of gift vouchers if they don't miss a day during the month.

STEPHEN HUMPHREYS, managing director, Projectlink

The World Cup should be seen as an opportunity to increase productivity by running football-themed incentive programmes. Using the group and knockout stages of the competition or a fantasy league with departments competing against each other based on attendance and productivity is a great incentive opportunity. Watching televised games in the workplace then becomes part of the management/employee productivity drive rather than an illicit act.


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