The India-Pakistan cricket match in Mohali in a semi-final of the ICC World Cup is going to be a work-stopper. Described as the battle of battles, this mother of all cricket matches is likely to stop work throughout India.
Sensing the potential impact of the India-Pakistan world cup match on work, many companies are looking at ways to deal with the issue.
Realising the strong-hold of cricket among Indians, and accepting defeat, some companies have offered a day off, or half-day to employees, while other companies want to share the space with cricket, my installing large TV screen in workplaces.
The match is reported to be the most-watched sporting event in the world.
India’s major brand, Dabur India, is considering a day off for its employees but is constrained by the fact that it is the financial year end, and work pressure is going to be very high. Dabur has experienced similar dilemma in 2007 for the T20 final between India and Pakistan. Cricket had won in the battle of attention and the company gave a day off to its employees.
Similarly, PepsiCo India is considering offering half-day leave for employees “if it doesn’t impact the organisation’s functioning” Samik Basu, vice-president (HR) and chief people officer for India Region was quoted in a media report
If a day-off is not a viable option, some employers are allowing its employees to work from home. PVR is one such employer which is open to this option. PVR is also streaming the cricket match live at some of its movie venues, and is considering an exclusive screening for its employees.
However, working from home is not a viable option for customer-facing employees like those of the Future Group’s Big Bazaar, which is India’s largest retailer. The frontline staff will be able to watch the match on large screen especially arranged for the match in the stores.
Some employers have even gone a step further and have come up with ideas of employee involvement. BPO firm Quatrro has organised employee contests about the ICC Cricket World Cup.