Image: Flickr
Image: Flickr

Employers may want to consider turning on the TVs to show to Rio Olympics, with research by Peninsula finding that nearly two-thirds of workers believe they are more productive when major sporting events are screened in the office.

Sixty-four per cent of those surveyed suggested that by showing events like the Olympics, Euro 2016 and Wimbledon in the office or lunch areas, they are less likely to spend the time scrolling through their phones for updates.

The survey also revealed that even if workers aren’t allowed to watch the sports, 46% want a clear policy on the matter. This is largely due to the fact that many employers only showed certain games – usually the home nations – at Euro 2016, but didn’t screen any Wimbledon matches.

Half (51%) of respondents called for employers to be more flexible during major sporting events, allowing them to start late, leave early or swap shifts with colleagues. Twenty-four per cent said that a lack of flexibility would actually encourage them to phone in sick so they can watch the sport.

Alan Price, HR director at Peninsula, said: “The first half of the summer of sports, including Euro 2016 and Wimbledon, had the nation gripped, but with the Rio Olympics just around the corner, it is important for employers to plan ahead, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, for how they will will manage employees who wish to watch the Games and join in with the festivities.

“It’s great to see that many companies have embraced employee’s excitement surrounding this summer’s sporting events. Having a little fun at work by decorating the office, holding themed events and allowing employees to watch the sporting games is a great way to improve morale, whilst building loyalty and commitment across your workforce. It’s about finding the right balance for your business as what works for one, may not work for another.”

Mr Price added: “Thinking flexibly will be the key to keeping a harmonious workplace during the Olympics. This will go a long way to ensuring that employee engagement remains consistent throughout. This may include authorising shift swaps or allowing employees to move the time of their breaks. Furthermore, make sure staff are aware of absence policies and internet usage. This ill help them understand the minimum requirements expected and prevent excuses that they didn’t know they were breaking any rules.”