Let fans watch tennis, firms urged

Tewkesbury Admag: Firms have been urged to allow tennis fans working in the office to watch stars including Andy Murray play at this year's Wimbledon Firms have been urged to allow tennis fans working in the office to watch stars including Andy Murray play at this year's Wimbledon

Firms have been urged to allow tennis fans to watch this year's Wimbledon from the office to help boost morale and build team spirit.

A survey of 700 employers found most will not be giving staff time off to follow Andy Murray's pursuit of the men's singles title at the event, which starts next week.

TV Licensing and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said they believe tennis fans will watch games from their desks anyway, either on their computers or on TV sets.

The CIPD said it was not necessarily bad news for employers if workers took time off to watch games in the office.

Research adviser Dr Jill Miller said: "Wimbledon is a great British sporting occasion, which captures the nation's attention for two weeks of the year.

"Employees following some of the nail-biting action at work, either at their computers or on TV screens around the office, can help build team spirit and morale across the workplace. We know that when employers enable flexibility at work, employees are more likely to go the extra mile.

"Depending on business needs, employers may choose to screen matches, perhaps asking people to make up the time afterwards. However, whether employers allow employees to tune in or not, the policy should be clearly communicated to the workforce."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Rather than impose a blanket ban on tennis, and run the risk of de-motivating staff and losing hours through unauthorised sick days, we would encourage employers to let people watch the games at work or at home if they like - and claim back their time afterwards. That way, everyone wins."

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