With the World Cup starting later today the bets are stacking up over who will win the competition. Will it be the bosses or the workers?
The bosses want staff to work as normal but the staff want to enjoy the World Cup. The result is the prospect of 'sickies' if no flexibility is shown.
But of course there is a way round this problem and technology has a major part to play. These days there are not just laptops and broadband connections but ways of allowing staff to both work remotely, multi-task and deliver what the boss requires.
Paul Clark, director for the UK and Ireland, at Plantronics (pictured) sums up the state of play: " According to the Financial Times and a survey conducted by the CBI, Business groups have been warned to brace themselves for a rise in absenteeism during the world cup."
"Last year the British economy lost 27 million working days as a result of bogus "sickies", costing £2.5 billion. With the World Cup set to start [today], and given how passionate fans in the UK are about 'the beautiful game', I expect this number will increase significantly," he says.
The crunch will come of course with the England Slovenia game which takes place during work hours but as the tournament progresses if England are still in the competition then other clashes with work time are more likely.
Enlightened bosses will use the technology, show they can give a bit back to staff after taking quite happily during the recent tough times and make it a tournament that brings the workforce together. Those who stick to their guns pretending it's not happening might have emptier offices over the next few weeks and random but widespread outbreaks of flu among the workforce.
This was first published in June 2010