Whether you’re tuning in to the Olympics this year to root for Michael Phelps in the swimming finals or to watch Venus Williams take on the world’s top tennis players, you may have to sacrifice some productivity to do it.
Many of these high-intensity competitions will be broadcast in the late afternoon or early evening – London time.
The Eastern time zone is five hours behind London, meaning that if you want to see Suitland native Kevin Durant and the U.S. basketball team advance on Aug. 4, you’ll have to do it right in the middle of the work day.
The Record is reporting that as fans either take time off to watch the games or take advantage of live streaming to watch at work, offices will be losing money.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an executive placement firm in Chicago, during the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament this year, U.S. workers were paid $175 million in the time they took to watch the first two days, The Record reported.
And that was just two days, compared to the Olympics’ 19 days of coverage, much of which is live.
Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium has scheduled 1,114 hours of television and nearly double that for events streamed online, and according to The Record, the most dedicated fans will watch as much as possible.
John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told The Record that if half of the 142 million people working in the United States take 10 minutes a day to watch the Olympics during the workday, it is an “enormous amount of lost time.”
But, he added, instead of fighting it, employers should embrace the fact that employees all have common ground when it comes to watching the Olympics.
Will you be watching the Olympics at work? Do you think your office’s productivity will decrease because of the Olympics? Tell us in our poll and in the comments.