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25th June 2018

With dates now confirmed for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the founder of one of the UK’s leading digital transformation consultancies, Azzure IT, has said that the reality of potential problems related to productivity caused by a winter World Cup will dawn on firms as they look to deal with a drop-off in productivity during major sporting events.

 

Research by UK market research organisation Ipsos MORI found almost one in four (24%) said they would miss work or school in order to watch the FIFA World Cup tournament, which this year was held in Russia with the associated time differences.

Dates have now been confirmed for Qatar 2022 – the first-ever winter World Cup – with games set to take place between 21 November and 18 December, leading tech experts to wonder whether the outlook for productivity during the tournament could look different in four years’ time.

Meanwhile research by UK-based Azzure IT has found nearly three quarters (73.1 per cent) of businesses say this year’s IT investment is primarily focused on ‘improving existing ways of working’, leading managing director Craig Such to emphasise the role of digital transformation.

“With researchers claiming UK businesses could have lost up to £13bn over the duration of the 2018 World Cup due to staff absences, the flexibility of shifting IT from traditional to cloud-based systems means staff can ‘take the office with them’,” he said.

“There’s often a connection between mobile working and flexible working. Cloud and mobile solutions are becoming a means of transforming the way that people work.

“That can be hard enough during a summer World Cup, but even more so during the winter months. Employees can be more naturally expected to take time off during the summer but far less so in November and December – which is something for firms to bear in mind.

“Moving to cloud-based systems is a sure-fire way to improve ways of working because no matter what devices your team uses or where they need to work, they can stay connected to key business data like financials, forecasts, inventory, product information, and orders.

“Businesses are seeing the benefits of helping employees work smarter together, even when they are not in the office – which could be much needed given the likelihood of absenteeism predicted during major sporting events like the World Cup and Wimbledon.

“Our survey also found that the top two ranking business challenges facing organisations were ‘productivity’ followed by ‘performance’, and this was before any major national and international sporting events got under way!”

Added Craig: “Working in real time means bringing your office with you and getting instant responses with access to the most up-to-date information. Employees can be in constant contact with video calls, whiteboard, document sharing, and messaging which can mean a real boost for performance and productivity.

“Plus switching to cloud-based systems to improve employee flexibility also helps with feel-good factors like employee satisfaction and wellbeing so business attitudes are definitely changing.”

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