Two in five to watch World Cup at work

Two in five office workers intend to watch World Cup football matches during office hours, according to researchers.

PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 53 per cent of working men and 21 per cent of women intend to watch the 2010 World Cup matches scheduled to take place during office hours as they happen.

Overall, some 39 per cent of workers said they intend to watch these games.

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Around 14 per cent will be watching at work with permission from their employer, but 5 per cent intend to watch without permission or by calling in sick.

Employers can also expect around 9 per cent of staff to take annual leave with a further 11 per cent taking advantage of flexible working.

Michael Rendell of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said: "Employers anticipating a spike in annual leave requests and absenteeism among football fans need to plan for the impact on staffing and productivity.

"There is huge goodwill to be gained from accommodating flexible working requests or allowing staff to take a couple of hours out to watch the games. With pay rises scarce and bonus pools down, this is a great way to thank and engage staff while bringing a very tangible opportunity to revisit and communicate flexible-working policies."