This was one of the most professionally organised office sweepstakes ever. Who knew there was an App for generating selection order? From the choosing process – team flags carefully disguised behind post-it notes stuck on the wall – to the slick interactive progress graphic, I suspect our football mad colleague has done this before.
There is something good about healthy competition in the workplace. The drawing of teams brought everyone together to share in the anticipation, angst and envy. Our manager wanted Portugal but picked a good consolation prize with Brazil, much to the consternation of others. As the competition progresses, the good-natured rivalry continues. For some, that smug feeling (Spain) and the faint ray of hope (England) were extinguished in less than a week. Luckily, being a small office of nine means we have three or four teams each. One of these is a top nine ranked team but given the unpredictable nature of World Cups, having a few underdogs in your collection adds to the fun. Of course, no-one is admitting it but getting one up on your fellow co-worker is secretly satisfying.
This month an extra screen appeared on Team Dan’s desk. Live streaming and some favourable time slots means some games are on during working hours. Does this affect workplace productivity? Maybe in the short-term (I know I get happily distracted by the game when I pass his desk) but the positive benefits outweigh the negative. In terms of team morale, bonding over a common activity, and employee satisfaction, being able to watch the World Cup is a win-win all round.
All I can say is go the Netherlands!