Cancel That Meeting: USA plays Germany in World Cup 2014

This morning, I walked into the office to a voicemail asking me why my employee declined a co-worker’s meeting for tomorrow. After looking at the calendar, I realized the meeting was scheduled smack dab in the middle of the USA versus Germany World Cup match. Well, the answer is obvious.

Many companies have tried to predict the lost productivity during major sporting events. Earlier this year, Challenger, Gray and & Christian calculated that the March Madness tournament cost more than $1.2 billion to American businesses and Captivate Network found that the 2012 Olympics cost U.S. companies $1.38 billion. More specifically, during the 2010 World Cup, InsideView uncovered that $121 million was lost in US productivity.

Tomorrow’s USA world cup match is scheduled to take place in the middle of the work day. John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and & Christmas, Inc. said”Employers may simply want to prepare for the fact that many workers could be taking an extended lunch on Thursday.” But then added, “Whatever positive impact companies realize by instituting a strict one-hour lunch break policy or by blocking access to WatchESPN will be undone by the negative impact on loyalty.” He went on to say, “Employers should instead embrace this as an opportunity to boost morale.This is our national team and they are attempting to defy the odds by advancing in the World Cup. What employer can’t get behind that?”

Research supports this positive morale boost associated with the World Cup. Prior to the 2006 World Cup, 62 percent of men and 52 percent of women suggested that if their national team did well, it would boost their morale and would have an impact on their working lives. The impact definitely was felt at retail where England experienced a US $2 billion sales boost as people bought beer, pizzas, barbecue equipment, televisions and more.

So, how much money will companies lose in productivity tomorrow? It appears the more pertinent question is, how much of a boost in positivity and morale will occur from a positive US result?

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