Companies can expect tired eyes, lethargy and more sick leave to be taken, thanks to the football fever that is set to sweep the country starting on Friday.

With the UEFA 2012 Euro Championships to be jointly held in Ukraine and Poland, the difference in time zones will cause local football fans to burn the midnight oil watching their favourite teams play on one of football's largest stages.

"It is clear that absenteeism increases during major sporting events," said Ms Rebecca Lewis, editor of Human Resources Management magazine. She added that while the cost of absenteeism may differ from company to company, such disruptions "can cost millions in terms of lost productivity".

Some companies are not worried. For example, DP Architects told my paper it will not implement any special measures.

Mr Raymond Chan, DP Architects' deputy director of human resources and corporate services, said: "Our employees are responsible and will apply for annual leave if they know that their work performance will be compromised by late nights."

An avid supporter of Italy's football team, an aircraft technician - who declined to be named - said that the team's opening match against defending champions Spain, on Sunday morning, is not to be missed.

The technician, who works weekends, plans to take a day off that day by putting in a request for his supervisor to swop his day off with a colleague's.

Ms Lynne Ng, the regional director of human-resource company Adecco, felt that a balanced approach is needed to allow employees to enjoy thefootball fever, yet maintain productivity levels.

Adecco offered some solutions to manage disruptions.

For instance, companies can organise social gatherings, either in or outside the workplace, to allow their staff to have some football fun.

Ms Ng said: "It's about setting clear expectations and communicating...what is, and what is not, appropriate in the workplace during the tournament."

Similarly, Ms Lewis felt that a little understanding goes a long way in ensuring that staff feel their bosses trust them to manage their time effectively.

"In this way, they're more likely to go to work being honest about the late nights (they've been keeping) watching football.

They can talk about the game with colleagues, and then get on with their job," she said.

However, she added that bosses have to take into account how special allowances for football fans may affect staff who work hard to cover for their colleagues who call in "sick".