If you listen closely you can almost here the sounds of the vuvuzela trumpets slowly building towards the start of the World Cup 2010 tomorrow night and marking a month of fake sick days and low office productivity.
That's according to recruitment and HR services specialists Randstad which said that employers in Malaysia need to consider the impact of the World Cup on their workforce and productivity levels when the nation catches football fever.
It warned that Malaysia's passion for the World Cup was likely to have an impact beyond tired faces at the office as employees are likely to watch replays on their computers in the office, have post match discussions, as well as participate in online forums – particularly as the final approaches.
"Some businesses, especially those which are tightly resourced and still trying to build up from the Global Financial Crisis, may find World Cup Fever to be irritating and a major distraction to achieving their goals," Sahun Nadarajah, General Manager and Director of Randstad Malaysia, said.
"However, instead of dampening people’s spirits and expressing your frustration, it’s actually an ideal time to embrace the spirit of the sport, have fun and build employee morale through celebration and a culture of teamwork."
Nadarajah's advice? Allow people to express their emotions and be passionate about this global sporting event because it can have a positive impact on the overall happiness and mental attitude of staff in the workplace.
"Themed marketing and business development activities can also be effective tools to generate sales and build stronger relationships with staff and customers," Nadarajah said.
"It’s actually a great time to celebrate diversity in the workplace, by encouraging people to get behind their favourite team. Employers should see this as an opportunity to build a sense of team spirit, boost the overall culture of the company and demonstrate to their workers they are a supportive employer inside and outside of the workplace."
With that... let the games begin. Go Oranje!
Six Pixels of Separation - Marketing and Communications Insights Blog and Podcast - By Mitch Joel at Twist Image