Don't fight the football

Last updated 07:00 17/06/2014

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Bosses shouldn't worry too much about the football World Cup showing on the office television set, an employment commentator says.

The World Cup, which kicked off last week with a 3-1 win by hosts Brazil over Croatia, will capture the attention of sports fans around the world until the final on July 14.

The inconvenient times for New Zealand fans could leave many tired or distracted at work, with most of the games starting between 4am and 10am.

Once the football finishes there will be only nine days before the Glasgow Commonwealth Games begin on July 23.

David Lowe, spokesman on employment issues for the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern), said employers should embrace such events.

"We're a sports-mad nation. We always have been and we always will be," he said.

"Something like this happens all the time and of course we are going to get involved in it.

"The advice we give is let's not fight it; let's make it work for us.

"You will find that the management as well as staff are going to get wrapped up in it, especially towards finals time."

World Cups and events such as the Commonwealth Games and the America's Cup presented opportunities for team-building and improving client relations, he said.

"It may be that you get up at 3am, meet at 4am, and the company pays for breakfast," he said.

"You stagger in at 9am and everyone goes home at 2pm."

From an employee perspective, the most important thing was to talk about it beforehand and be honest, Lowe said.

"If the boss knows your favourite team played last night and you call in sick, it just goes badly."

He said New Zealand workers tended to be conscientious and did not ask for things that could not be accommodated.

"If you let the team down, it's not the business that picks up the slack, it's your colleagues," he said.

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