Onrec logo The Online Recruitment Resource

How to Deal with Gambling in the Workplace

In a country that loves sports of all different varieties, it’s not long until a new betting opportunity rolls around.

With today’s constant access to the internet thanks to smartphones and tablets, punters can be placing bets 24/7 and it can be difficult to draw the line between harmless fun and an addiction. But when it leaks into work time and productivity, it becomes a problem that employers need to tackle appropriately and fairly. If you are or know anybody that is having a problem with betting they can help at Timeform, a trusted betting organisation.

How Can You Spot a Gambling Problem?

Gamblers often say that their compulsive gambling activity affected their work and it can massively impact the productivity of employees if they’re struggling. Disruptive patterns like longer lunches or repeated absences and a lower quality of work, as well as asking their colleagues to cover for them, can all impact the individual and the company’s reputation. Other signs of a gambling problem are unexplained disappearances, gambling on company time on their computer or phone, poor concentration or irritability, borrowing money from colleagues or managers constantly being asked for advances on their wages.

How Does This Affect HR?

With an estimated 1 in 100 employees believed to have a problem with gambling, there’s no opportunity for businesses to assume that the issue won’t affect their staff. For the majority of people, gambling is just a harmless activity – some companies even organise social activities around events like horse racing or big football events – but the countless ways people can now gamble and the ease of doing so affects this, with some people struggling to know when to stop.

Staff may even be using computers in the workplace to gamble, so HR and employers need to have steps in place to avoid it becoming an issue. The impact compulsive gambling can have, not just on the individual in question, but also on a business and members of staff can become a difficult issue if not dealt with early.

How to Deal with a Gambling Problem in Your Employees

Confronting this issue with a member of the team can be stressful for everyone involved but it’s important to do so and there are ways to approach it for a more positive outcome. Express your feelings and beliefs about what’s going on without placing any blame, express more “I” statements than stating “you”, and listen to what the employee is saying without judgement. Be understanding and plan your responses as they are talking so you can gauge how the employee will react and direct the conversation to avoid any anger or difficulty.

Depending on how honest the staff member is about their problem, you can then create a plan together about how to offer help and deal with the addiction, both for their productivity at work and on a more personal level so that they can get the necessary help and support. Putting each of these steps into place will help the conversation go more smoothly and will ensure the individual doesn’t feel attacked or judged un