World Cup is causing more than five million absences across UK businesses

Research demonstrates that England World Cup games are likely to see an extra 17% of employees taking time out of the office

World Cup is causing more than five million absences across UK businesses

It’s only been underway for 24 hours but already there’s little else on most people’s lips: the World Cup.

According to research from Access Group, the the business management software provider, every England game in the tournament will see absence levels in British firms soar by 5.1 million people. Based on a sample of 40,000 people tracked over the course of the last four years since the World Cup 2010, the firm has calculated that the days after England matches will see a 17% spike in absences. Based on figures from the last World Cup, significant absenteeism was seen both on match days as well as the day after, with the worst period of absence coinciding with England’s victory over Slovenia and a similar bout after the second-round defeat to Germany.

Whilst this may make employers worry about being left shorthanded for the next month, the data does reveal that work patterns tend to return to normal once England are knocked out. And whilst such a significant boost in absent staff may sound worrying, it is important to remember that the vast majority of absence is taken as holiday, rather from staff pulling sickies to watch the game. 

“Big sporting events always have an impact with people eager to cheer on their team,” said Jon Jorgensen, group director for Access. “It’s good to see that most people take a responsible approach booking leave in advance or taking holiday rather than pulling sickies.

“Absence data becomes really valuable when it allows businesses to make smart decisions about resourcing and productivity. It’s these decisions that will improve the bottom line and create competitive edge.”

We don’t know whether data is the only route to a competitive advantage but perhaps it’s worth bearing in mind, England? 

Josh Russell
Josh Russell

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