The World Cup could cost the British economy up to £1bn in lost production as staff take time off to follow the tournament, a report has warned.
More than half of 700 employers questioned by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) admitted they were “panicking” at the potential cost of staff taking time off to watch matches involving their team.
“Endless” discussions about the tournament will divert workers away from their job, according to the survey, while many fear football-mad employees will take time off without permission to tune in to games.
CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman said: “It’s greatly concerning that so many managers have fears around the World Cup. They clearly feel ill-equipped to develop appropriate strategies to cope with the problems associated with major sporting events.
“The fact that more than half of our managers and leaders think that there is nothing they can do to prevent the World Cup from distracting staff or to limit unauthorised absences amplifies the desperate need for improved standards of management and leadership.
“Better trained and qualified managers would be able to see the World Cup as a great opportunity for engagement, and take proactive measures to manage the situation to get the best out of it. “