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It's coming home

World Cup 2022 takes place in Qatar from 20th November to 18th December and many of the matches will take place during working hours. What should you make clear to homeworkers who’ll be able to watch games easily?

Decide

An outright ban may be unrealistic and difficult to enforce but you should adopt a clear position. Decide your rules now and communicate them to avoid disagreement later. Reinforce your existing rules and introduce new ones if your current guidelines don't cover the issues.

Distractions

Matches shouldn’t interfere with work. Interference could be background noise when an employee is on the telephone or in an online meeting, working poorly or not at all. If you will allow matches to be on when employees are working, insist that they are silent during meetings and calls.

Drinking

Will you allow drinking during matches? If not, say so. If yes, identifying what you consider excessive may be difficult. It will be better to encourage employees who wish to drink during matches to book leave and drink in their time, not yours.

Discrimination

Showing matches in the office may encourage people to attend the workplace and allow your employees to socialise. Allowing staff to make up time missed while watching matches may also help engagement. But take care not to favour fans of particular teams, such as the home nations that have qualified, England and Wales. That is likely to be discriminatory.

Discipline

Your rules will not bite if they don't have teeth. Monitor sickness absence, unauthorised absence and any ‘under the influence’ behaviour. Warn your employees that you will be doing so and the consequences if you find that they have breached your rules.

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