Don’t let a little thing called your job stop you from watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, aka March Madness. Here’s how to enjoy the first-round games without getting fired.
Step 1: Investigate online streaming Investigate ways to watch March Madness basketball online. March Madness on Demand provides live streaming video to your computer or mobile device; go to NCAA.com for information. But be warned: Some companies install software that blocks streaming video -- or slows action to a crawl.
Step 2: Run a pool Volunteer to run your office pool. The person in charge of everyone’s brackets has to watch March Madness basketball at work to keep on top of the scores, right?
Step 3: Schedule strategically Get in early on game days and schedule meetings in the morning so you can tackle a little actual work before the first games tip around noon Eastern time. Just remember to keep a low profile: Even if your team is playing, keep school paraphernalia to a minimum.
TIP: If you’re on the West Coast, try to get important business out of the way when your least favorite teams are playing.
Step 4: Be cagey If you have a headset, wear it while watching games so co-workers will think you’re on an important call and can’t be disturbed. If you must attend a meeting, bring your laptop or mobile device and surreptitiously monitor the action on mute. Murmur your assent every now and then so you appear engaged.
TIP: When the March Madness live stream cuts out -- and it will -- refrain from cursing or slamming something in frustration.
Step 5: Get out of work Prefer to watch the games from the comfort of your couch? Lay the groundwork for a bout with the flu in the days leading up to March Madness. Just don’t post any enthusiastic online updates during the games, or you'll blow your cover.
TIP: If you require a minor medical or dental procedure that involves home recovery, schedule it for the day before March Madness begins.
Step 6: Get your company involved Can't watch the games online or take a few sick days? Launch a campaign to allow employees to watch March Madness basketball at work in the open, explaining that it would boost morale and, in turn, productivity. The bosses just might buy it.
FACT: 92 percent of fans who watched the 2008 NCAA tournament online did so from work computers.