IF it’s not the Olympics, it’s the Ashes. If it’s not the Ashes, then it’s the possibility that Andy Murray might notch up a second year as Wimbledon Champion.

On top of that, this year we also have the much awaited football World Cup in Brazil. There’s also Le Tour, coming to the UK at the beginning of July.

With the tennis starting late mornings, the cyclists travelling through the afternoon and the earliest football matches kicking off at 5pm, I wonder if all these distractions might be the cause of disruption in the workplace?

Employers may have to contend with a rise in absence levels, as well as late arrivals and early departures. It’s also possible that performance may be reduced as distraction increases!

One thing that concerns me is the possibility of a staff member nursing a hangover because they’ve been celebrating a sporting win or commiserating a loss. This is where it’s important to have a policy.

Any of us thinking of making policy changes regarding absentees need to remember a few things. It must be made clear to all staff if there are any changes in working conditions or patterns – even if they are only introduced as a short-term measure. They also need to know that existing policies will kick in again once the summer sports season is over.

The key seems to be taking a practical and flexible approach – as far as is possible – and to be clear from the outset what will and won’t be tolerated.

Working with employees to accommodate their requests (where possible) will engender stronger employee relationships and could end up saving management time, thanks to a build-up of goodwill. It also avoids the awkward situation of the dreaded “sickie”.

The popularity of sport has increased dramatically over the past few years, both in terms of viewing figures and participation. We must recognise the benefits this can bring to our businesses and encourage our employees to become actively involved in sport events.

Sporting activities can bring big benefits, helping staff to engage with one another and promote a stronger team ethic.