Patriotic bosses are getting behind the England football team with nine out ten saying they’ve been allowing their employees to watch or listen to sport at work this summer, with around half actually believing it will boost productivity, a recent survey from The Institute of Leadership & Management has found.

In all the hysteria surrounding the success of the England football team at this summer’s World Cup, The Institute surveyed 642 of its members for their thoughts on watching sport at work, the impact it has on workers and how much sport is talked about during working hours.

The survey found that 61 per cent of managers felt letting their employees watch or listen to sport at work increased staff wellbeing, 55 per cent said it led to fewer absences and 54 per cent also believed it boosted productivity at work.

While the majority of bosses said they allow staff to watch sport at work, 59 per cent said they only allow staff to tune in if targets are kept and 32 per cent restrict viewings to breaks only.

Unsurprisingly men’s football was the most talked about sport in the workplace (82 per cent), followed by Wimbledon (30 per cent), reflecting both sports’ popularity and media attention. Only eight per cent revealed that sport was shown the red card in the workplace, as it wasn’t a topic of conversation.

Kate Cooper, head of research, policy and standards at The Institute of Leadership & Management, said:

“Although most of the England games have been scheduled outside normal office hours, our survey suggests that football fan, or not, the tournament is dominating conversations at work.

“It’s not just the football that has captured the nation’s attention. Fans of other sports, such as Wimbledon, Tour de France and the Grand Prix, may also be keen to tune in during working hours. It’s an issue that affects many businesses and one that managers need to address to prevent absenteeism or a reduction in productivity.

“Our survey shows that the majority of managers trust their staff to manage their workloads appropriately while watching or listening to major sporting events, like the World Cup and Wimbledon. This can mean wins for those managers as our previous research has highlighted the importance of trust in the workplace, positively impacting staff wellbeing, morale and productivity.”

For more information about The Institute of Leadership & Management, including The Institute’s tips for managing sport in the workplace, visit