Reduced productivity, increased absence': How World Cup may negatively impact businesses

India, 27 Nov 2022

It is the season of football, and as expected, every fan of the beautiful game is visibly excited, catching up on every game possible. As expected, the late-night matches and the games during the day are affecting the productivity of employees across the Gulf region, according to a study.

The study, conducted by the online recruitment platform GulfTalent, showed that the World Cup matches, which will be held till December 18 (from 2pm to 1am UAE time) may lead to a major slowdown in the operations of businesses across the Middle East.

The study revealed that 77 per cent of the employees in the region are planning to watch at least one of the games. Of these, 41 per cent intend to watch the matches during work hours.

Nearly one-third of the employees hope that the employers will give them permission to watch the games even as one in six people who were interviewed for the survey said they plan to secretly watch the match online.

Some of the employees are also planning to ask for a full day of annual leave, call in sick or leave work early to watch the matches, according to the study.

Employees are trying to tackle the situation by being more strict with attendance, issuing warnings, and also giving employees some controlled flexibility. Some employers allowed the staff to watch matches when the work is slow, while there are also some who set up TV screens in the offices or plan to take the employees to watch a match after office hours.

The study revealed that the highest among the people who are planning to go to Qatar to watch the matches are UAE nationals, followed by people from Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. It also showed that a large number of Indians working in the Gulf countries are expected to watch the matches at the stadiums.