14 Sneaky Tips For Watching The Olympics At Work Without Getting Caught
When your job gets in the way of good TV programming, it almost makes you want to consider unemployment. And if you work a standard 9-to-5 job at an office, then work is seriously going to cut into when you can watch the 2018 Olympics. Of course, exciting competitions will air during NBC's primetime block at night, but there are live Olympic events that occur during the day that you won't want to miss. If you've been stressing about how you can watch the Olympics at work without getting caught, then you've come to the right place because here's a list of some old-school deception tactics to help aid you in your shady quest for Olympic gold.
The 2018 Winter Olympics officially kick off with the opening ceremony on Feb. 9 at 6:00 a.m. ET. (When watching live on NBC's website and app; otherwise, you can catch it at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.) With the closing ceremony on Feb. 25, the Olympics will be occurring during a total of 10 workdays. (That is, if you work Monday-Friday.) Unlike last Olympics, NBC won't be using a tape delay and every event in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be airing live across all U.S. time zones. While this is a very good thing when it comes to spoilers, the time difference between PyeongChang and the U.S. — the West Coast is 17 hours behind the South Korean town — means some major events will be happening during work. That's where this list comes in handy.
When you're not near a TV, you will be able to stream the Olympics in PyeongChang through NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. So you're in luck if you spend your day in front of a computer. But in order not to get caught, here are 14 low-tech tips on how to secretly watch the Olympics on your work computer. And if your boss catches you, this article doesn't exist, capisce?
1. Check The Angle Of Your Monitor
The first tips are all about the setup, so consider them your Olympics training. If you have a computer monitor that faces out toward the rest of your office, pull something up on your screen. Then strategically pass by your computer from all sides (going to the bathroom, leaving for lunch, or grabbing office supplies are all valid excuses) and take note of how much of your screen is exposed. This will give you a sense of what your fellow coworkers can see on your screen and the chance to make adjustments. Rinse and repeat if you have two monitors.
2. Bring Your Headphones
Seriously, if you don't bring your headphones to work, you're pretty much SOL.
3. One Ear It
When it comes to headphones, earbuds are your best bet. Put one bud in and leave one bud out. That way, you won't be completely oblivious to people walking by your desk.
4. Do A Sound Test
Like the monitor walk-by, you need to make sure your headphones aren't emitting sound to your office neighbors. Even if you think your sound isn't blaring, this is an essential check. After all, if someone does overhear what you're listening to, it might lead to a coworker (or worse — a boss) asking you to turn down your clearly not work-related listening material.
5. Be An Excellent Multitasker
If someone approaches you, you should be able to tell them which project you are currently working on. And you'll need to make actual progress on it for reporting and timesheet purposes. If you know you aren't capable of this, then you're better off DVRing the daytime Olympics.
6. Get A Mirror
Either affix a sticky mirror to your desk or get a free-standing cosmetic mirror. Then angle it so you can see people approaching you from behind. You can pretend that you put it up because you're vain, but in reality, it will stop you from shiftily looking around for approaching colleagues. (Plus, it's handy after lunchtime to see if you have any food in your teeth.)
7. Make Sure You Have A Work-Related Window Open
One of the most important things you can do while streaming the Olympics on your computer is to also have actual work on the screen. That way you can click over to it quickly. Just make sure that the other page you have open is fairly inconspicuous.
8. Minimize The Streaming Screen To The Smallest Size
Now that you've got your monitor at a good angle, your headphones set at an appropriate sound level, and a decoy window is open — you're ready to stream. But before you get sucked into an event, change the size of the streaming screen to as small as you can handle. Then, place it a bottom corner. Remember: The harder for others to see, the better.
9. Be Vigilant!
While it's pretty shady if you immediately close a window when someone walks by your desk, it's better that than the Olympics broadcasting on your computer for all the world to see. Keep that mouse hovering over the minimize screen button or learn some keyboard shortcuts to quickly switch to another screen. If you use a Mac, enable hot corners.
10. Get Your Work Poker Face On
Time to take a tip from Peter of Office Space. Master staring at your screen, but conveying the idea that you are doing actual work.
11. Suppress Joyous Emotions
Sports are exciting, but sadly, there will be no cheering for you. You must convey the attitude of a poised professional — even if you're cheering on the inside.
12. Don't Get Annoyed With Interruptions
It's going to be your instinct to be annoyed with whoever stops by your cube during a tense Olympic moment. But showing your frustration will give you away, so keep it cool, calm, and composed.
13. Consider Alternative Methods
OK, maybe watching on your work computer is impossible because you don't sit at a computer all day or your work monitors what websites you visit. This is when you're mobile device comes in handy. While a tablet would be ideal, don't get cocky — stick with your phone. Either place it on your lap and act like you're just using it to listen to music. Or if an important event is coming up, take that bad boy to the bathroom with you. That'll buy you a good five minutes of uninterrupted Olympics watching.
14. Have A Work Watching Party
If you respect your career too much or you're too worried about sneaking around, then here's one last suggestion. Convince your office manager or boss that watching the Olympics is good for national pride and office morale. Suggest the office gather in the conference room to bond over an Olympic event airing during the workday. This may have to be your last resort since once you indicate daytime Olympics interest, stealthily watching at your desk will be much more difficult. But an Olympics mini-viewing party doesn't sound half bad.
However you choose to watch the Olympics at work, here's wishing you as much luck as Team USA.