Sunday 26 November 2017

Startup productivity and sport

I'm sat watching The Ashes as I write this. And it gets me thinking about the productivity levels of workers when major sports events are being played. When there are breaks between overs, I take a quick look at the Rugby League World Cup semi-final featuring England. I can feel myself writing more quickly when England are ahead in one or the other.

Startup owners need to think about their people when there are major sports events happening. Either they are during work hours, so employers need to think about access, or they are out of work hours, where you need to consider the morale of people. A depressing showing at a major tournament (think England and just about any football World Cup) and this slows down the enthusiasm and productivity of your team.

Putting it to one side

There are two ways of dealing with a situation like this. Firstly, you can pretend that it isn't happening. If the event doesn't have a direct impact on your business, then you can just let it pass you by. There is no reason to change what you do unless you cover that event.

This means that the team are expected to work as usual and deliver to customers as though there is no event going on. If it is hosted in a county with a similar time zone to the UK then you can probably use this approach most effectively. If the events are played out of work hours, then you can expect your team to watch and engage out of work hours. If the home nations are doing well, then it can provide a boost to business.

Work around it

At the other end of the spectrum is adapting your business to the event. You could give people time off, let them watch on their computer screen at work or make an event of it. If the sporting event happens during your normal work day, then the mind of your team may not be on their job. A big event such as a football World Cup might find that all of your customers are watching the match anyway.

Think about which of these approaches will suit you best. I personally don't think that ignoring it completely is the right way to go. Make a few concessions and you will find that your team responds in the right way. Being a positive and engaging startup owner means taking into account the feelings of your team and your customers.

This is something that you might need to think about as time goes on. The football World Cup starts in Russia next summer. Do you have plans?

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