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Watch Out HR: The Olympics Are Here to Stay

The 2012 London Olympics are being called the “Twitter Olympics”, offering viewers many ways to keep up with the games via social media, live internet streaming, smartphone apps, and of course, traditional TV.

 London Olympic Rings large

With so many outlets available to viewers, employers are concerned about employees trading productivity at work to keep up with swimming, gymnastics, and any of the other 305 events covered at the Games this summer. The time difference is also a concern, with many of the most popular events streaming live during the US workday.

But do the Games have lasting impact on productivity in the workplace? Experts say probably not. Challenger, Gray & Christmas in Chicago said it expects US workers to take a few minutes out of their workdays to catch up on the events in London. While this takes away time at the office, CEO John Challenger says there’s not likely to be any real impact on productivity or the overall economy. Why? Mr. Challenger argues that the way we measure productivity has changed. All that should matter, he said, is that employees are meeting deadlines and producing quality work.

“There are a lot of companies and managers who are still caught up in the mind set and may look at it as lost productivity because someone’s not working while they’re at their desk, but if they get their work done it really doesn’t matter if they’re watching the Olympics,” he said. With advanced technology, he added, “the idea of the 9-to-5 workday is just being shattered. The boundaries that used to exist between work and home, or work and personal life … are evaporating before us.”

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Conclusion? Game on!



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