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FIFA 2014 – Diminishing productivity across the Middle East


Half of all UAE employees to watch late-night matches, according to a GulfTalent Survey

June 11, 2014 3:37 by

By Nadine Sayegh 

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is expected to disrupt productivity levels in the Middle East with 89 per cent of respondents citing that they will watch some of the games.

The results, which were collected through an online survey with 18,000 individual respondents, show that half of all employees intend to stay up to watch their favourite teams.

We can’t say we didn’t see this coming considering the earliest time a match will be played is 8pm UAE local time(latest to be played at 4am), but the statistics collected by the GulfTalent Survey reveal that not only will people be watching late-night matches, but some are willing to miss out on work to do so.

The statistics show that if you were the, hypothetical, owner of a business with 100 people, more than 33 will show up to work sleep-deprived, 10 of your employees will come in to work late and a similar number say that they will take a day off from their annual leave. Three will call in sick.


You are going to be a very unhappy boss.


However, according to the results, if you are running a marketing company, you will only have to deal with sleepy employees rather than absentee ones.

IT professionals are more likely to come to work late or call in sick the day after an important match, while HR employees are more likely to take a day of annual leave.

Some countries across the world are allowing their employees to show up late provided they stayed awake to watch the matches, according to a number of publications.

German newspaper, Bild, reports that Germany are close to pushing through an agreement with a number of large employers, drafted by workers’ unions, which would allow employees to come to work late without repercussion, if Germany has been playing.

While no Middle Eastern country is participating in this years’ tournament, the culture of the World Cup is one that unites the world through the love of football.

Business owners in the region will be able to see this, won’t they?

“I have 50 employees in my team. Most of them are football fans and this will really affect our productivity this month,” says an unenthusiastic manager from an oil and gas company.

Don’t fret, there is still hope!

“Staff productivity is highly dependent on emotions. We can properly transform these emotions during this time in a positive manner to increase productivity. So I would allow my staff time to watch their favorite matches,” says a manager from a catering firm in Saudi Arabia.

The report revealed that the likelihood of a manager forgiving lateness is dependent on their interest in the sport.

What do you think Kippers? Would you be lenient with your staff during the World Cup?

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