16 Aug 2016

First the sports event, then the sickie

12:23 pm on 16 August 2016

Sports-mad New Zealanders are finding it tough to make it to work after major sporting events.

NZ sports supporter with face painted like NZ flag.

NZ sports fans are more likely to call in sick than those from other countries. Photo: 123RF

Recruitment firm Robert Half said New Zealanders and Australians top a global list of employees who call in sick after big sporting matches - and this could well be happening right now with the Rio Olympics underway.

According to its survey, 87 percent of New Zealand's human resources managers said it was likely that at least one of their employees would call in sick or make an excuse for skipping work the day after a major sporting event. One in five said it was very likely they would get a call.

But the general manager of Robert Half Asia Pacific, Megan Alexander, said one way to deal with the problem was for employers to be more supportive of workers who are sport enthusiasts.

"We can use sporting events as a really good way to get our employees engaged and typically make sure that the business gets in behind it to create a bit of rah-rah in the office and a bit of good feel factor," she said.

Ms Alexander said almost two-thirds of New Zealand human resources managers report that company organised-functions to watch big sporting events gets staff engaged and motivated.

"Workplace absences and distractions can place tremendous pressure on a company's productivity levels. To help mitigate this, businesses often host company events to watch major sporting competitions.

"While watching sports during business hours can impact a company's workplace productivity, organisations increasingly understand the positive impact these activities have on staff morale."

The annual study carried out by an independent research firm surveyed 100 human resources managers in New Zealand and 1575 worldwide.