Top 10 Tips for preparing for a summer of sport

Top 10 Tips for preparing for a summer of sport

Whether it’s Wimbledon, the World Cup, international cricket or the US Open – sport is usually one of the hottest topics in any workplace.

And the anticipation is no doubt growing in your office with a host of high-profile sporting events coming up, especially the World Cup, which begins this month.

As a business owner this can be a tricky time to manage productivity levels, absenteeism and staff morale. But it can also be the perfect time to show you appreciate your employees and to motivate them in future.

Here are our top tips for preparing for this year’s summer of sport.

1. Think about your productivity

Being the boss means you have to make difficult decisions sometimes. And while you might love to give your colleagues time off to watch the sporting events they love, can your business really afford to do so? Will you still be able to meet all your customers’ expectations? If the answer is no, then you need to think about how you manage any requests for time off.

2. Consider time off requests fairly

You need to think about how you will manage any requests for time off consistently, fairly and in line with your existing policies. For example, will you do it on a first/come first/served basis?

3. What about multi-tasking?

The majority of workplaces will have Internet access, a DAB radio or television to enable colleagues to listen to or watch their favourite fixtures. But this doesn’t mean work has to stop completely if you work smarter. You could schedule conference calls at half-time or ask colleagues to share answering the phone and managing urgent emails for the duration of the match.

4. Be flexible

If you haven’t done so already, and your business is able to facilitate it, you could consider introducing flexible working hours. You could alter your set hours so colleagues could catch any relevant events and make the time up at a later date. Alternatively, you could temporarily schedule your lunch breaks or shift pattern changes around the sports event's calendar to ensure people don’t miss out.

5. Communicate the rules in advance

When people get over-excited, the rule book tends to go out of the window. But as an employer, you need to reinforce the fact you’re in charge and what the rules are to avoid any issues. If you are offering flexible working hours to accommodate sports fixtures, this hopefully will be seen as a fair compromise. You should communicate what your rules are beforehand, either in person, at team meetings, via your Intranet or by circulating a ‘sporting events policy.’

6. Consider hosting a party

Whether it’s for the Wimbledon final or the key game in the World Cup, you’d definitely win brownie points amongst your workforce if you hosted a party at work to celebrate. You could allow your employees to watch or listen to the match and provide some nibbles. Remember to set some ground rules though about not drinking alcohol on the premises and respecting colleagues who choose not to participate or who follow a rival team.

7. Manage sickness absence

If you are unable to offer time off or be flexible during this summer’s sporting events then you may need to manage your sickness policy robustly. While you would hope and expect your colleagues not to abuse it – some may try to bend the rules so they can watch their sporting heroes and inadvertently end up with their own red card too. You need to be clear what the consequences will be if they do.

8. Think about how non-sports fans can benefit too

Not everyone in your office will care whether England are through to the semi-finals or if Andy Murray is match fit. If you are offering incentives or perks to sports fans at work, then you need to think about how everyone – including non-sports fans – can benefit too. If you’re offering time off, flexible working hours or inviting colleagues to an office party it needs to be inclusive and open to everyone.

9. Beware of harassment

The passion and enthusiasm people feel for their favourite sport team or hero can mean feelings can run high and jovial comments can sometimes get a bit close to the bone. Your workplace is likely to be a mix of nationalities and friendly rivalries. But this can often lead to intimidating behaviour. It’s a good time to remind your employees about what constitutes harassment and encourage them to respect each other. Perhaps making it clear that any behaviour which amounts to harassment will be dealt with as a disciplinary matter.

10. Have fun!

As the business owner or manager, it’s likely you will be trying to keep a dozen plates spinning while your employees' hearts are on holiday or watching the World Cup. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too. Engaging with your workforce and making it a fun place to work can work wonders for staff morale. Why not consider spicing things up with a World Cup sweepstake, a Wimbledon themed strawberry tea party or a general sports quiz?

So how will you manage your teams and their sporting hopes this summer?

Julie Gordon is the Managing Director of cHRysos HR Solutions, a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD and CMI accredited qualifications nationwide, as well as HR Consultancy to SMEs.  For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you return to study and achieve further qualifications contact Julie on or call +44 (0)1302 802128.

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cHRysos HR Solutions are a UK wide HR training and consultancy company offering CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on or call 03300 562443.