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The Rio Olympic Games may prove to be the perfect opportunity for employers to increase the loyalty of their workers, as 41% of employees say watching sport during working hours does just that.

During the Euro 2016 tournament, 18% of employees said they were allowed some time by their employers to watch matches, according to new research by Totaljobs. The study found this to have a positive impact on workers, as nearly half of employees said this increased their loyalty to the company.

Despite the expectation of watching sport whilst at work to be distracting, only 5% of employers noticed a change in productivity and a further 28% of employees reported that their productivity had actually increased.

Watching sport during work hours can also boost the moral in the office, as 47% of workers were found to think there is more workplace banter amongst employees during sporting and cultural events.

John Salt, group sales director at totaljobs, said: “A sporting event such as the Olympic Games is a fantastic opportunity for employers to bring their workforce together and boost morale and positive attitudes towards the company.

“Workplaces that offer added perks such as time off to watch high-profile sporting events are more likely to retain talent within their business”.

Employer benefits

Employers noticed various benefits from turning on the sport channels whilst in the office, as 30% believe that they see increased team morale and 26% think their workforce is happier and 13% noticed more motivated employees.

Over a third (36%) of employees said that their attitude would be more positive if they were allowed to have time off to watch sport, particularly amongst men in the workplace, as 43% of males claim that their attitude to work would be more positive if they were allowed time off to watch sport, compared to just 28% of women.

The activities that employees would most like to take part in at work to mark the Olympic Games are a team lunch break to watch an event (33%), flexible working hours and holiday to watch key events (24%), as well as the opportunity to participate in a sweepstake (23%).