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Are the English fans behind England?



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Take the Afternoon Off.

I’ll be popping on the telly this afternoon and hoping, against all odds, that the ball can get into the back of the net. For England, of course. But I may be a lonely fan.

We have just run a survey which shows that it’s not just the England team that’s putting in a lackluster performance this time – it’s the fans, too, who even before the tournament hadn’t made plans to take time off or throw sickies.

Employers know that people want to take time off to enjoy the football. Around 80% of them (OK, it’s IT companies we surveyed, but my ear to the ground says it’s not just them) have made arrangements for flexible working. Yet only just over one in ten people surveyed had taken advantage and were planning to make use of the facility.

We can blame the new footballs, we can blame vuvuzelas, or we can blame the poor football, but the survey ran before the game started.

It seems sad that companies have gone to the lengths they have to let people watch the match, but few have plans to get on and do it. At three o’clock this afternoon, it’s make or break for the England team. With the clock ticking, I’d urge those whose employers have gone to the trouble of making the facility available to join with their workmates around the television, be it the boardroom, be it at home, to order in the pizzas and join together to support the England team.

It’s a great opportunity for teams to unite behind a common cause, to meet and share with people from other departments and to have a little fun. And it offers some support to the beleaguered England team, who obviously need our support more than ever. Go on. Take the time off. I dare you!

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Claire Thompson is the author of this article and she works for the IT Job Board, which conducted the survey mentioned above.