Kiwis top list for calling in sick after big sporting events

Mon, 08/08/2016
  • 87% of New Zealand Human Resources managers say it is likely that at least one of their employees will call in sick the day after a major sporting event
  • New Zealand employees are more likely than their international counterparts to call in sick after a big sports happening, according to HR managers 
  • 62% say hosting company events to watch sporting events increases employee engagement and 43% say it improves employee motivation 

New Zealanders are more likely to call in sick to work the day after a major sporting event than their international counterparts[1]. According to independent research by specialist recruiter Robert Half, New Zealand companies are anticipating a potential increase in the number of workplace absences with the upcoming season of international sporting competitions. 

Almost nine in ten (87%) New Zealand Human Resources managers say it is likely that at least one of their employees will call in sick or make an excuse for skipping work the day after a major sporting event, with 19% calling it “very likely”. New Zealand is – together with Australia – at the top of the international list, followed by Brazil (84%), Chile (80%), Austria (78%), Germany (76%) and Switzerland (75%). The Netherlands (61%) is the country least likely to have their employees call in sick.

While many New Zealand companies appear concerned about employee absence being linked to sporting events, many are embracing such occasions and using them as an opportunity to engage and motivate employees. Almost two-thirds (62%) of New Zealand HR managers say hosting company events to watch major sporting competitions increases employee engagement, while 43% deem it to have a positive effect on motivation levels. Almost a third (29%) believe such company events increase employee loyalty. 

Megan Alexander, General Manager Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “Kiwis love their sport, especially when our teams are expected to do well, however it’s important to not let big sporting events disrupt employee performance. While time differences might not always work in New Zealand’s advantage, workplace absences and distractions can place tremendous pressure on a company’s productivity levels.”

“To help mitigate this, businesses often host company events to watch major sporting competitions. While watching sports during business hours can impact a company’s workplace productivity, organisations increasingly understand the positive impact these activities have on staff morale. Having an engaged and motivated workforce that recognises the importance of team spirit can have a significant influence on achieving company goals which ultimately improves a company’s bottom line.”

“Significant sporting competitions that are of national interest are also an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate why they are an employer of choice. Showing flexibility towards staff on special occasions, whether it is allowing staff to come in a bit later, taking a longer lunch break or leaving early, shows the business understands and appreciates its workforce,” Megan Alexander added. 

[1] The independent survey was carried out in April 2016, surveying 1,675 HR managers in 12 countries – including 100 New Zealand HR managers. 


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Human Resources managers in New Zealand and 1,575 HR managers worldwide. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

For more information                         

Gabrielle Nagy                                
Public Relations Manager, Robert Half Asia Pacific            
[email protected]
+61 2 8028 7751

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