During the World Cup, some employers probably can’t help but wonder if the soccer fans on their payroll are actually doing any work. According to one estimate, the last World Cup cost US$7.36 billion in lost productivity — and those games, held in South Africa, did not overlap with the North American business day as much as the matches currently underway in Brazil.
The answer for Adbloc Media, a Toronto-area advertising company, was simple. It has relocated to a bar for the duration of the Cup.
Employees are encouraged to embrace the games instead of "coming up with cheesy excuses" to play hooky, according to Adbloc's Peter Machalek.
"Let's embrace, you know, the World Cup and this time of the year," said Machalek. "Let's take our office elsewhere and actually enjoy the games and get a chance to take out some of our clients, bring them out here."
Businesses could benefit by giving people the freedom to keep up on the scores according to David Zweig, an expert in human resources with the University of Toronto in Scarborough.
"What you don't want to happen is for people to not be allowed to keep track of the games and then they'll find ways to do it in a clandestine manner, right?” said Zweig. "So someone takes off to the bathroom and they're gone for 20 minutes."