Why we choose to skip work to watch sport

Many people in the UK choose to skip work in order to watch sports, new research has found. Commissioned by the Workforce Institute at Kronos and carried out by Harris Interactive, the study showed the UK is the third-worst performing nation when it comes to sport-related absenteeism, Reuters reports.

And with the football European Championships and the London Olympic Games just around the corner, there is likely to be plenty of temptation for employees to fake illness in order to watch that all-important match or track-and-field final.

The investigation revealed the number one sport that encourages individuals to pull a sickie in the UK is football, while the same was found to be true for France, Mexico and Australia.

However, the nation with workers most prone to calling in sick to view a game or recover from a late-night match is China, closely followed by India, with basketball and cricket the two top sports in these countries respectively.

Joyce Maroney, Director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos, said: "The findings were in line with the findings of our survey last year on absenteeism around the world."

Chartered Psychologist Ros Taylor said: "These findings highlight the sadness of our working lives – many of us would rather be doing almost anything else rather than be at work.

"If work were more rewarding, if we were more concerned about not letting our colleagues down, then we would be happy to spend every minute there. But we are not.

"So rather than pillory those who take time off to watch sport, we should be asking ourselves what we can do to improve our working lives."