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How can your small business tap into World Cup fever?

1 in 10 Brits planned to ‘pull a sickie’ today as England defeated Columbia in the first of their knock-out games. The research, commissioned by comms company Centropy and conducted by independent polling company Censuswide over the weekend quizzed 2,000 members of the public over whether they would consider skipping work if Gareth Southgate’s team prevailed.

So, what does this mean for small businesses up and down the country? Do you just let your staff take the time off, or will you try and incorporate it into your working culture? James Calder, CEO at Distinct Recruitment plans to have the football on in the office. He said, “This doesn’t mean we’re all sat staring at the game not doing any work but it does allow those who want to keep an eye on the event to take a couple of minutes every now and then to stay up to date. Employees will be keeping on top of the scores on their computers or phones anyway, so at least having a communal TV showing the games makes the experience more inclusive and does help to set a relaxed working atmosphere.”

Michaela Dudfield, marketing manager at Redweb has upped the stakes of their sweepstake to encourage more team spirit. He said, “this year our CEO set up a Super 6 league and to get everyone more involved he’s offered the winner of the league a day’s annual leave, and two runners-up half a day’s leave.”

Aaron Dicks, founder at digital marketing agency Impression suggests using the World Cup as a starting point for an inter-agency or industry league. “For our own employees, it’s a great way to get moving and stay healthy. It’s also brilliant for team morale (especially when we win, which we often do!). Being seen to be active within our own local business community is also good for our brand, so it’s a win-win situation. We’ve got a lot of really sporty people in the business, so will be looking out for similar opportunities in the future.”

Aaron Inglethorpe, design and branding consultant, Discount Displays says businesses should capitalise on the emotions surrounding the World Cup both in the office and in marketing strategies. “Savvy businesses will recognise the power of emotion and look to capitalise on it. From a marketing point of view, tapping into the World Cup is a great way to create engagement, so consider how you can even just hint at football within your latest advert, or how you might yourself organise a game-watching event at your office and invite along customers and prospects.”

The World Cup provides a great opportunity to boost morale across the office. As long as England are still in the World Cup, why not capitalise on it and treat your staff with some flexible working arrangements or a more relaxed vibe in the office?