Sodexo offers flexible working to combat absence levels during the World Cup

Sodexo Motivation Solutions is taking a number of measures to prevent increased absence levels associated with the World Cup.

According to the World Cup Fever survey conducted by the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP), one in six (16%) UK employees are planning to take holiday between 11 June and 11 July to watch the World Cup, while 76% of respondents said they are planning to leave work early to watch the games.

To combat these statistics, Sodexo will be offering its 75 employees flexible working options around the World Cup schedule and will be showing the matches at work on two recently installed flatscreen televisions.

Cross-departmental teams can compete in a table football tournament in one of the meeting rooms or in a Wii tennis tournament for those who prefer Wimbledon to the World Cup. These games can be played within office hours, but none are allowed between 10am and 12pm and 2pm and 4pm.

Iain McMath, managing director at Sodexo, said: “Outside of those hours, if their line managers approve, they can go and play the games. We have also said that when there are football matches being played they can watch with their line managers permission but they have to make up the work and the time.”

Every Friday between 11 June and 11 July will be a World Cup dress down day. Employees can wear football shirts but must pay a minimum of £1 which goes to the charity Stop Hunger. McMath adds that staff can wear their football shirts on other days of the week but they have to donate to the charity.

Fridays will also be World Cup bake-off days, where employees can bring in and sell food that corresponds with the countries that are playing, and the earnings will go to Stop Hunger.

Sodexo’s intranet site will also be continuously updated to keep staff informed of the progress of the football tournament.

McMath said: “It is a great way of getting everyone engaged in a world event while still keeping up the performance within the business. The energy it creates is quite interesting in that staff are working harder to give themselves more free time over the next month so their attention to detail and focus on the task is fantastic.”

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