AUSTRALIAN rugby fans are turning up to work late and tired after early morning games but rather than penalise staff, Randstad is encouraging employers to embrace the World Cup.
The four-yearly tournament is being held in the United Kingdom, with sports nuts braving the time difference to wake up early and watch matches before work.
Randstad Australia employment market analyst Steve Shepherd says as a nation of rugby-fanatics, employers should show staff some flexibility.
"Rather than fighting against the inevitable, I encourage employers to view the Rugby World Cup (RWC) as an opportunity to reward their employees by allowing rugby fanatics to start later on the morning of an important game," Shepherd says.
"If you have great people that work hard, then this small initiative will help to recognise and reward their efforts."
A recent study by Randstad found 51 per cent of Australian workers are expected to be available to work outside of office hours and 56 per cent say they are happy to respond to calls and emails in their personal time.
Shepherd says employers and employees need to strike a balance between work and personal time, to prevent staff resentment.
"Australian workers are a hardworking, dedicated bunch and generally willing to work in their personal time, which undoubtedly impacts their work-life balance," he says.
"Providing flexible hours around the RWC is one small gesture of recognition that employers can easily implement."
Randstad's top tips to triumph this Rugby World Cup season
Get leaders onboard: There's nothing worse than being told you have to be at work on time, while colleagues in another department happily float into the office late. Businesses should take a clear, united front on what is happening with start times during the RWC. Ask in advance what pressing deadlines exist and where possible, push them back to ensure everyone can enjoy the spirit of the games.
Don't clock watch: If you say you are being flexible with start times around the RWC, then stay true to your word. If a game runs late for some reason don't chastise your employers for arriving later than expected.
Embrace the Cup spirit: Bring the tournament to life in your office and create a festive environment by encouraging employees to decorate themselves, their desk or workspace with memorabilia of their favourite team.
Keep it friendly & inclusive: If undertaking a company sweepstake for the RWC, people like a flutter every now and again, but keep it friendly and fun without pressure to participate. Remember people have differing views on gambling and its social impact, so sweepstakes are a good way to get people involved without employees ruing their losses.
Have fun but be responsible: If you are going to have celebrations in the offices, ensure you promote responsible drinking, responsible behaviour and provide food, so that it's kept friendly and fun. Failure to do so will mean you could face some very unproductive workers the following day.
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