The 2014 World Cup begins this Thursday with an opening ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil. While some will be counting down the days until it finishes, for many it will be the highlight of the summer and they will be trying to watch as many of the 64 games as possible.

Ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a survey found that 32% of England fans would consider skipping work to watch a crucial game that summer. This inevitably has a knock on effect on productivity, and a common issue every 4 years for employers is how to reach a compromise with staff to avoid people taking ‘sick days’. Depending on what times the games take place, this could mean allowing staff to come in late, putting up screens in work, having team trips to the pub or simply having a zero-tolerance policy.

Fortunately for UK employers, the time difference with Brazil means all games this year fall outside the 9-5 period, so employees skipping work will not be such a big issue. However, with the advancement of cloud technology, the impact of large events like the World Cup will have less and less of an impact on productivity as it allows increasingly flexible working. Another study this year found that flexible working hours (35%) is the benefit that would most discourage employees from taking unnecessary sick leave during the World Cup. Almost a third (30%) would be persuaded by the ability to work from home. We frequently hear from Clear Books customers who have taken advantage of the flexibility offered by the cloud to check their accounts in unusual places – on the beach or even on top of a mountain.

Of course, it will still depend on each individual employer as to how much cloud technology can change working patterns, but it certainly allows more honesty between employer and staff. Additionally many of you will have your own business, and may well use cloud applications to keep an eye on emails after having an early finish to get to the pub. England’s final group game against Costa Rica has a 5pm kick off and is likely to be the one day in particular that might see people sneaking away early.

We’d love to hear from you about this topic – will you be using Gmail to allow you to catch Ghana v Portugal? Or using Clear Books Mobile so you can watch Colombia v Ivory Coast?

Posted by Darren Taylor

Darren is a Marketing Manager specialising in Digital Marketing