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Seconds on Air, Hours off it!
The World Suffers huge Productivity Losses because of Sports Tournaments
Issue Date - 17/03/2011
Although most bosses try every trick in the book to avoid pilferage of productivity, mega sporting events do end up with employees diverting their man hours into watching the games! Even though there is much leisure or patience today to sit through a one day international, India Inc. is likely to witness a substantial productivity-pilferage during the ongoing ICC World Cup. ASSOCHAM estimates that around one-fifth of employees (12 million) are likely to bunk office or cut short their working time, resulting in a loss of 768 million man hours. Around 15% of the managers have agreed in principle to allow employees to take some time off to watch matches, although 29% have refused to allow non-attendance.

However, the FIFA World Cup makes ICC pale in comparison. According to an article by Associated Press, the productivity loss to Germany was a staggering $8 billion (0.27% of GDP), while Britain lost $1.5-2.3 billion due to the 2010 World Cup football. In the quarterfinals, where Netherlands was playing Brazil, almost the entire population of the former left office by 1 pm. Thousands of Dutch workers did not attend office during the European Championship in Portugal in 2004. The 2009 NCAA tournament in America also enthused millions, leading to lost productivity to the tune of $3.8 billion (Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.).

In 2009, when some top web sites showed college basketball, an estimated 7.9 million logged on, and mostly office goers! Add to that, numerous and endless post-match discussions and you have even more to deal with. And to imagine that a number of such companies pay through their teeth to sponsor them. Perhaps they should also consider the eventual cost to their productivity before agreeing to valuations!


Sayan Ghosh           

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