There is nothing that can turn away football aficionados from the pitch from June 14 till July 15 when 32 teams will clash to take home the FIFA World Cup 2018.
According to a new survey by GulfTalent, an online recruitment portal in the Middle East, employers across the region are set to witness a major dip in productivity, due to the 2018 football world cup.
Fans’ expectation is particularly high in the Middle East since four Arab countries—Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco—have qualified for the international football competition for the first time.
Football fans in the region are also looking forward to seeing Liverpool-star and Egypt national team striker Mohamed Salah perform. The Arab footballer who sustained an injury at the Champions League final match against Real Madrid is busy practicing for the country’s first match against Uruguay.
According to the survey by GulfTalent, 92% of employees in the region plan to watch at least some of the games. Since most of the matches will be played during Middle East working hours of 2:00 PM to 1:00 AM (U.A.E. time), they plan to watch it through live streaming on smartphones.
Of the 8,000 employees surveyed across the region, 28% or more than one in four, admitted planning to watch some of the games during working hours.
Almost two-thirds of the professionals said they would sit up to watch the match till late, cutting their sleeping hours. As a result, around 17% would go to work late, while 8% would take the next day off as annual leave, and 1% would call in sick.
Football fever is in fact high among senior executives and company directors. The poll found that 32% of senior executives will be watching the games during working hours, compared to 28% of staff average.
In the past, a survey involving 100 U.K. business leaders by telecoms and IT services provider Coms Plc estimated that the World Cup 2014 could result in a loss of 250 million working hours to british business. While in the same year, a separate survey by law specialist ELAS estimated the potential cost of 2014 world cup to Britain’s employers at $5 billion in lost productivity.
In fact on social media too the world cup is a making quite a buzz in the region with 98% of the Twitter users excited about the FIFA World Cup, according to a recent Twitter survey by marketing consultancy firm Hall & Partners.