Why You Should Let Your Team Watch the World Cup at Work

If you’ve looked around your office at odd hours recently only to see a group of colleagues crowded around a television and screaming, it’s definitely because of the 2018 World Cup.

For the past few weeks, both hardcore fans and occasional enthusiasts in offices around the world have been transfixed by the world’s biggest soccer competition, currently taking place in Russia. Today, Croatia will battle England at 2pm ET to see who will face off against France in the finals on Sunday.

Thanks to time zone differences, most of the matches have been airing in the United States during the workday, to the chagrin of managers everywhere. Every four years, countless articles are written about how the World Cup drains productivity in the office, as employees watch games instead of tackling their tasks.

And we get it. On the surface, letting employees watch the World Cup at work may seem to be at cross-purposes with achieving your business goals. After all, you pay people to work—not to sit around and watch the Brits beat the Colombians in penalty kicks, in a game so dramatic that it caused one of the British players’ wives to go into labor.

But is watching the World Cup at work truly disastrous? We don’t think so.

In fact, there are a number of ways companies can benefit by allowing their employees to watch sports at the office:

  • Employees become happier.

    A recent study found that soccer fans get happy an hour before the game starts, and that happiness lasts up to three hours after the game ends. Watching the World Cup at work, then, can increase productivity, since happy employees are 10% to 12% more productive than their more miserable peers.

  • Workers get to know each other.

    Letting your employees watch the World Cup together will likely result in new relationships. A person on the marketing team, for example, might end up watching the game next to someone from the finance department who they otherwise would never talk to. Shared experiences can serve as great team-building opportunities, helping create strong bonds between coworkers while strengthening culture.

  • *Creative ideas may abound. *

    Innovation occurs in relaxed, friendly environments. Employees watching soccer in an informal, casual setting may come up with new ideas that prove to be game-changers. Let your team watch the World Cup and you never know what they might come up with.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, watching games in the office isn’t necessarily a productivity killer. Instead, it can actually make your team more productive while doubling as a loyalty enhancer.

For this reason, Knotel will be hosting a FIFA World Cup Brunch for our members and their friends at our Experience by Knotel pop-up space at 666 Broadway on Sunday. (True, it’s not a work day, but we did enjoy bonding as a company while watching many riveting games in the office together.)

RSVP here.

See you there—and may the best team win!