How to watch the Olympics at work: Employers guide and workers rights

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As the 2020 Olympics are now in full swing, much like last month’s Euros, a lot of the coverage will be televised during the working day, which has left many employees wondering if, how and where they will watch this year’s Olympic games.

Officeology, the workplace solutions company has created a comprehensive guide for companies regarding watching the Olympics at the workplace. A previous survey run by Officeology found that 24% of British employees were committed to watching the Euros whilst at work, so if that is anything to go by we can expect to see similar numbers of people wanting to watch the Olympics whilst in the workplace.

In this article, they’ve explored how employees can support their staff, win or lose, as well as answering some essential questions about workers’ rights when it comes to watching the games at work!

How can employers make the most of the 2020 Olympic Games?

  1. Allowing your employees to watch the Olympics will boost morale

Boosting and maintaining a great team morale should be at the forefront of any employer’s mind at the moment. The last 14 months have been hard on almost everyone at some point, so what better way to uplift certain employees by letting them relax for a few hours in the day to cheer their country on. If people are coming into the office why not put the games on the big screens, or encourage sports fans in your business to watch the games together.

  1. Encourage accountability by introducing flexible working hours during the games

One way your team can watch the Olympics, yet ensure that they are still fully responsible for their work, is by implementing flexible working. Introducing flexible working hours means employees will view their responsibilities from a project-based perspective rather than from a day-to-day, or a ‘time’ point of view.

When approaching work from a project-based stance, individual accountability will increase as employees become increasingly aware of what needs to be achieved, rather than how long they should be working.

By encouraging accountability, not only will your staff get to enjoy the sports but it should improve their time management and scheduling skills. You may also see less holiday requests as people don’t need to take one or two days off to watch their favourite sporting events.

  1. Don’t forget, some people will still do work!

While it’s guaranteed that there will be some sports fans on your team, it’s also inevitable that some people will prefer to just crack on with their work.

  1. The Olympics is a great chance to promote inclusivity and celebrate multiculturalism.

Is there a better way to celebrate than international sporting events? Every company in the UK is likely to have an employee with a significant link to one or more countries participating in the games. The Olympics is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate culture, with offices even hosting social events when two of the team’s nationalities are playing against one another. People bring in food, drink and have a chance to show their passion for their country – a true celebration of culture.

Do workers have any rights to watch the Olympics?

In short, no…but you can ask your boss for time off! It depends on several factors, such as your company policy, as well as your own workload and your relationship with your manager. One possibility is to book a day’s holiday and make a full day of it – however, you may want to reserve it for another time.

What happens if you pull a sickie?

It may seem a little coincidental if you have a sick day at the same time as your country is competing! If your boss knows you well they’ll probably latch onto your thinking and we’d certainly advise against faking being ill.

Am I legally allowed to watch it at work?

Before you start streaming the games at your desk, it’s best to have a look at your contract or ask your manager whether it’s ok – some internet networks may start slowing down if you stream and it’ll be obvious who the guilty culprit is! If you’re working in the office then some businesses will happily put it on the TV, so no need to sneakily stream!

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