The television channels plan more than 570 hours of coverage during the four-week tournament, which runs until July 11. Some of the matches will take place in ‘office hours’, including England’s match against Slovenia on June 23, which kicks off at 3pm.
Business support organisation Business Link has urged employers to plan ahead for the knock-on effects of absenteeism or increased demand during the tournament. Companies are already turning to Business Link advisers for help.
Operations director Peter Griffiths (pictured) said: “Because so many people enjoy the World Cup and will want to see the games live, businesses need to be prepared for a possible fluctuation in orders and/or a rise in annual leave, so as not to compromise the good service their customers are used to receiving.”
He has unveiled a checklist of issues to consider as businesses prepare for changed working patterns during the World Cup:
l Be flexible. Giving people the opportunity to watch games at work or at home is unlikely to be as disruptive as denying them the chance could be;
l Consider asking fans to work alternative hours in lieu of the time they miss;
l Do not forget about those employees who do not follow football. They may feel that they are being discriminated against by not having similar opportunities;
l Plan how customer orders can be dealt with in advance to ensure that expectations are met;
l Be sensitive to the wishes of non-English workers who may want to watch the games involving their national teams;
l Recognise the unique opportunities that your business could take advantage of during such a major event, especially in customer communications and marketing.
For further advice, visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast