UK Workers Find a Way to Watch the World Cup

World cup at work 18.06.18

Football’s biggest event kicked off last week and for those that can’t get to the games to watch the World Cup, it means catching up on TV. However, due to Russia’s awkward time zones, millions of people will be at work when the games take place. Is it acceptable to watch the World Cup at work?

TUC Back UK Workers

The televised #WorldCup matches will take place at various times, with some matches starting as early as 11am. UK workers that work office hours could miss out, as well as more than 5.7 million people that work nights, according to the Trade Union Congress. Consequently, the union have called upon company bosses to be more lenient when it comes to employees wishing to witness the landmark sporting event.

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady argues: “Millions of workers around the UK will want to cheer on their national teams. Tournaments like this can be great for building camaraderie at work, with colleagues running sweepstakes and spending time together.”

She adds: “It is important employers do not score an own goal by acting like killjoys. To avoid problems, they should try to let people who want to watch the games do so, either at work or at home – then claim it back afterwards. Whether it’s major sporting events like the World Cup or watching your kids take part in their school sports day, allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier and more productive.”

How to Get Around Work

For those of eager to catch the games at work, ringing in sick has crossed your minds – and possibly your boss’ too! But for those honest workers, there are a few genuine options. Although you can’t force your boss to give you time off by law, you could request a holiday, alternate shifts or flexible working hours. It isn’t guaranteed that your boss will grant you time off, but with a bit of hope they will be football fans too – it doesn’t hurt to try.

If there’s absolutely no way out, is it acceptable to watch while you’re at work?

Before watching at work, refer to your employment contract on media streaming. Some large companies have policies against streaming as it has the unfortunate ability of being able to crash the network. Other companies simply ban media streaming sites altogether.

For those that don’t access to TV streaming, you can always listen on the radio. Some sporting fans even argue that radio commentating is more entertaining than TV commentating.

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Sam Rose

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