World Cup fever hits the office
Companies organise football-related activities for staff
At 4am yesterday, KPMG Singapore employees gathered in the company clubhouse at Robinson Road.
They had not turned up early for work, but were there to catch the opening match of World Cup 2014 featuring Brazil and Croatia.
The first 50 employees were given limited-edition Fifa World Cup mini footballs and lanyards.
The auditing, tax and consultancy firm is among a number of companies which have organised special activities for their staff during the World Cup.
KPMG is screening all weekday matches at its office clubhouse and large groups can request for weekend screenings.
A free flow of drinks and snacks will be provided for matches from the Round of 16 onwards, said Mr Stephen Tjoa, 50, Partner for People, Performance and Culture at KPMG.
He said: "Supporting participation in sports, even as a spectator, is part of our firm's holistic approach to staff welfare.
"Given that the World Cup only comes around every four years, we believe that this occasion is an opportunity for building a more inclusive community among our staff."
Given the time difference between Singapore and Brazil, the matches will be screened in the early hours of the morning.
Organisations like KPMG and Barclays, a British multinational banking and financial services company, will therefore exercise flexibility in their employees' working hours during the World Cup period.
Other companies have jumped on the World Cup bandwagon by organising World Cup-related office games.
For example, the management at advertising agency SuperSonic has paired up its 12 employees who will take turns playing against one another in an ongoing foosball round-robin tournament.
Over at auditing, tax and consultancy firm Deloitte, interns had a Fifa World Cup party yesterday, which included a quiz night with World Cup shirts as prizes and a World Cup Xbox tournament.
Grey Group, a global advertising and marketing agency, also joined in the World Cup festivities.
Its chief executive officer, Mr Surabbaju Alluri, 47, said: "A foosball table for employees was bought on Thursday to ramp up excitement. We have a very international office with (staff of) 16 different nationalities.
"They are excited to support their own teams and I completely trust that we will act responsibly even if we stay up late."
Given that the World Cup only comes around every four years, we believe that this occasion is an opportunity for building a more inclusive community among our staff.
- Mr Stephen Tjoa, Partner for People, Performance and Culture at KPMG