GOOOOOOOAL!!!!!!!! The Impact of the World Cup on the Global Workplace

The 2014 World Cup, the biggest sporting event in the world, kicked off in exciting fashion earlier this month with lots of upsets and surprising performances.

The national teams of 31 countries (the host nation automatically qualifies) advanced through qualification competitions that began in June 2011 to participate in the final tournament, with a total of 64 matches being played in 12 cities across Brazil.

The buzz generated by the event has been palpable: millions of fans cheering on their favorite team, thousands of viewing parties being held globally, and advertisers like Adidas and Nike filling the airwaves and social media outlets with soccer-related campaigns:

While not as popular as in some other countries, the World Cup is still a big deal in the United States, as evidenced by ESPN’s record ratings for the USA-Ghana match. In global organizations, the World Cup can have an impact on productivity, particularly in offices located in countries with teams participating in the tournament.

The following are among the most notable effects caused by this month-long soccer spectacle:

  • Your networking group will notice increased bandwidth usage, due to the event being streamed online (someone I know triggered an IT alert when they consumed 1.1 Gigabytes of data in one day).
  • Employees activating their personal mobile devices at work to keep track of matches and use social media.
  • More people working remotely so they can watch the game, extending lunches and taking vacation days when their home team is playing.
  • People may be distracted while in meetings when their team is playing, and watch for the occasional cheer and people yelling “goooal!!!” at random moments.

At our headquarters in Santa Clara, we have been proactive in recognizing the importance that is placed on the event and taken steps to reduce the impact on the workplace. Our local employee activities committee set up viewing areas during the the event, where workers can take a break and cheer on their favorite team.

Avaya Football

As you can see from the picture above, this set-up has been a hit with our employees since the first day.

How are your organizations or offices taking part in World Cup-mania? Let us know in the comments below.