« When the boss says, "I will not take a vacation!" | Main | High school reunions: the ultimate work life balance reality check »

Watching the Olympics at Work?

Like most of you, I forgot how exciting it is to watch the Olympics. I can barely break myself away from finding out whether Michael Phelps will win another medal -- all it takes is a quick peek at volleyball or gymnastics and I'm hooked right in.

Most of us have access to a phone or computer that allows us to check in on all things Olympics -- all day long. But should our employers encourage it? Is it a fire-able offense? 

Labor lawyer Mark Neuberger of Foley & Lardner in Miami says many employers recognize that employees may lose time and work while the Olympics are going on. In Florida, an employer could fire you for watching the Olympics at work if the company forbids it. But Mark warns against "coming down hard" on these sort of activities. He says it typically has an adverse repercussion in morale and connection for employees to their workplaces.

Instead, he says, most employers are better served to recognize the excitement around the Olympics and try to use it as a morale booster. One company I know has brought crowds to the lunchroom by enticing employees to place at noon on Olympic winners and losers.  

Former professional tennis player and author Steve Siebold of Boynton Beach told the Sun-Sentinel he is a big believer in letting employees watch the Olympics at work.  The author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, says the Olympics are good for employees' work ethic.

Siebold says here are some lessons workers can learn from the athletic competition:

  • Olympic athletes embrace conflict for growth. When most people run into an obstacle, they seek escape. Olympic athletes have a plan to push forward when this happens and learn all they can from the challenges they face. They know facing adversity is part of being successful.
  • Olympic athletes are learning machines. They spend hours practicing, studying their competitors, watching videos of their performances and session after session with their coaches and mentors.
  • Olympians are coachable. Most people will only accept the amount of coaching their egos will allow. Champions like Olympic athletes are well known for being the most open to world-class coaching.
  • Olympians compartmentalize their emotions. They have the ability to put aside anything else going on at that very moment, and focus only on the task in front of them.
  • Olympians think big. Ask most people what they’re thinking at any given time, and you might be surprised to learn how many think about just getting by. That’s called selling yourself short. Olympians are fearless and focused on manifesting their ultimate dream of bringing home the gold.

I could see posting up signs around the office with some of the above ideas and suggesting your staff embrace these qualities and considers themselves champions, too. I'm pretty sure most employers hate the idea of encouraging distraction. But there's a good argument to be made for making the workplace fun. 

What are your thoughts on allowing staffers to watch the Olympics at work -- good idea or completely insane?

 

Advertisement
AdChoicesClose
Advertisement

The author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, says the Olympics are good for employees' work ethic.

Siebold says here are some lessons workers can learn from the athletic competition, which holds opening ceremonies on Friday:

  • Olympic athletes embrace conflict for growth. When most people run into an obstacle, they seek escape. Olympic athletes have a plan to push forward when this happens and learn all they can from the challenges they face. They know facing adversity is part of being successful.
  • Olympic athletes are learning machines. They spend hours practicing, studying their competitors, watching videos of their performances and session after session with their coaches and mentors.
  • Olympians are coachable. Most people will only accept the amount of coaching their egos will allow. Champions like Olympic athletes are well known for being the most open to world-class coaching.
  • Olympians compartmentalize their emotions. They have the ability to put aside anything else going on at that very moment, and focus only on the task in front of them.
  • Olympians think big. Ask most people what they’re thinking at any given time, and you might be surprised to learn how many think about just getting by. That’s called selling yourself short. Olympians are fearless and focused on manifesting their ultimate dream of bringing home the gold.

 

Comments