Self-employed more likely to remain productive during World Cup 2018

28th June 2018

A slump in workplace productivity during the 2018 World Cup looks unlikely to affect the UK’s self-employed population, according to micro business specialists.

A new study by Ipsos MORI discovered almost a quarter of employed individuals admitted to skipping work in order to watch some of the matches live on television. Meanwhile others suggested they would attempt to watch games during their contracted working hours, which could have a negative impact on workplace productivity.

Meanwhile, a separate report from FootballTips suggests that football fans are prepared to skip 49 hours of work to catch the World Cup; 28 hours of which will be unauthorised. Based on average hourly rates of £13.94 per hour, they claim UK businesses could miss out on £13 billion worth of earnings due to unauthorised staff absences and a lack of workplace focus.

While employers are strapping themselves in for a bumpy ride during June and July, Ed Molyneux, CEO, FreeAgent, believes the flexibility of self-employment will allow self-employed professionals to enjoy the 2018 World Cup while remaining on top of their business commitments.

“Those who will be best-placed to enjoy the football will be self-employed workers, as they are able to choose the hours that best suit their lifestyles while still staying on top of their business,” said Molyneux.

Mr Molyneux believes that employers who consider adopting the freelance work model – giving their employees tasks to achieve as opposed to timed jobs to stick to – are more likely to maintain productivity levels in the coming weeks.

According to recent FreeAgent research, 11% of employed Britons aim to set up their own business by the end of this year.

Almost half (44%) of Brits surveyed cited an improved work-life balance as their primary motivation for taking the self-employment route.

However, Molyneux suggests that as UK businesses “shift towards a more flexible working culture” themselves, they will “feel the impact of employee absenteeism during major sporting events a lot less in the future”.

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