HR strategy and practice headache from World Cup online viewing?Business may find that their networks struggle to cope with increased traffic for workers looking to view World Cup matches online in the office, according to one expert.

Nigel Hawthorn, vice-president of Europe, Middle East and Africa marketing at delivery networking provider Blue Coat Systems, has warned bosses and those in charge of HR strategy and practice that networks may be overloaded during the tournament.

Indeed, so confident is he that a firm’s business will crash at some stage before the final on July 11th that he even made a bold prediction.

"Someone’s network is going to die; if no UK business has a problem, I’ll eat my replica England shirt," said Mr Hawthorn.

A number of employment bodies have already issued guidelines on how to deal with employees wanting to watch the football and how it might affect productivity, given that a significant number of matches kick-off during office hours.

By Colette Paxton