PETALING JAYA - Employers and their staff should catch delayed telecasts of World Cup matches together in the office after working hours, said Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
This is better than staff calling in sick during the upcoming football fever season as had happened in the past when World Cup matches took place in the wee hours of the morning, said the group.
Suggesting this as an alternative to prevent reduced productivity, MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said employers would naturally brace for an increase in medical certificates, annual leave utilisation and pure absenteeism during the greatest show on earth.
"Employers are used to it since it happens once every four years but this does not augur well for the companies' operations as well as national productivity," he said when contacted by The Star yesterday.
Shamsuddin also noted that organising viewing parties after work could improve the employer-employee rapport.
"It is not only the employees who like watching football but the employers too. But there is work to be done and one must work along those lines to make it happen," he said.
He advised employees to pick a more convenient time as well as access other alternatives to catch all 64 matches during the month-long event.
"As most of the matches this time are going to be played live early in the morning, it is better if they choose to catch the action after their working hours," he said, reminding employees that staying up late and heading for work in the morning would affect their health and work.
To be held in Brazil, the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 12 with the host nation playing Croatia at 4am Malaysian time (June 13). The final match takes place on Sunday, July 13 (3am, July 14, Singapore time).
In the last World Cup in South Africa, the online findings of The Star-Adidas Loudest Noise Survey showed that 61 per cent of the respondents in Malaysia said they stayed up to catch the 2.30am matches, 32 per cent watched only the 7.30pm and 10pm matches while 7 per cent did not watch any match. From those who did, 17 per cent watched all the matches and 37 per cent picked only the interesting ones.