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5 Ways to Watch the World Cup While Still Getting Paid At Work

Office space album cover 5 Ways to Watch the World Cup While Still Getting Paid At Work

Planning how you’ll watch the 64 games of the 2010 World Cup this summer is something you should not take lightly. The tournament is just as much of a marathon for the soccer viewer at home as it is for those members of the world media covering the tournament for their readers and listeners back home. For the armchair soccer fans who have day jobs, there are logistics to work out, time zones to comprehend and bosses to avoid.

If you haven’t already done so, the time to plan your World Cup viewing experience is now.

Here are our top 5 tips of how to watch the World Cup while still getting paid at work:

  1. Take your vacation during the World Cup. The World Cup is one of those tournaments that is best enjoyed watching games live on television rather on delay. Recording games on a DVR to watch later is a chance that may be too much to risk. Remember that the 2010 World Cup is not the Premier League. The chances of seeing the result of a game is at least 10 times greater than that of a Premier League match. While you’re at work, everywhere you go on the web, there’s a good chance that World Cup stories or results may be shown. Plus even the average work colleague who normally couldn’t care about soccer may spill the beans by blurting “Hey, how about that Thierry Henry own goal, ‘eh?” or something similar. My recommendation is that you request your vacation days for the early round of the tournament when there are three games per day. It’ll be easier for you to sneak ways to watch the later round of the tournament than trying to cram in 6 hours of games during the first round per day without your boss knowing.
  2. Plan your work day accordingly. The 2010 World Cup is one of those rare occurrences when living on the West coast of the United States is preferable to the East coast. That’s because the matches in the opening round of the World Cup tournament are on television between 4:30-6:30am PT, 7am-9am PT and 11:30am-1:30pm PT. For the dedicated soccer fan living on the west coast, he or she can see two matches before work begins. And then finagle a way to watch the third and final match of the day during his or her lunch break. If you live on the East coast, like I do, it’s going to be more of a challenge for the typical 9-5 office worker. Games in the opening round will be shown from 7:30-9:30am ET, 10am-Noon ET and 2:30-4:30pm ET. Those are hardly convenient for employees with eagle-eye bosses. Watch out for an article in the next few days on EPL Talk with all of the options of how you can watch the games while at work.
  3. Schedule your doctor’s appointments ahead of time. What’s that? Cough, cough. You sound sick. But before you schedule your doctor’s appointment for opportune times, be sure to consult the 2010 World Cup TV schedule. A two to three hour “doctor’s appointment” is just what the doctor ordered particularly during the semi-finals which are on weekday afternoons.
  4. Take advantage of company perks. If your company offers a work from home policy or flex-time, use it so you can watch games during the daytime. You may even want to dust off that employee handbook you haven’t read since the first week of work to see if your company offers perks that they don’t announce to everyone.
  5. Tell your boss the truth. Chances are your boss already knows you’re a huge soccer fan. So if your boss is someone you completely trust and have a great working relationship with, you may want to be real with him or her and ask if it’s OK to bring a TV set into work to watch some of the games. Now, this won’t work for most people, but you may be lucky enough to have a boss who sympathizes and who is smart enough to realize that s/he’s going to get more work out of you if you’re able to watch the games during the day instead of you disappearing for long hours as you find creative ways to watch the games. Plus, you can let your boss know that you’re willing to come in early, work during lunch hours and after work to make up for the time lost.

Over the next few days, EPL Talk will be sharing more tips about how you can get the most out of your 2010 World Cup viewing experience. For the time being, what tips specific to finding ways to watch World Cup games during work hours can you share that aren’t included above? Please share them in the comments section below.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

16 Responses to 5 Ways to Watch the World Cup While Still Getting Paid At Work

  1. Jake Islas says:

    I plan on using ESPN3 a lot, but knowing the game is in beautiful HD on my TV might force me to be creative and find a way to stay home. Either way, there’s no way I’m missing a match.

  2. Evan says:

    I’m finally glad that I’m being forced to take furlough days. I’ve been saving them up and I plan to use them strategically during the tournament.

  3. ovalball says:

    Well, you could be like my son and work for Eurosport/ in Hillsborough, NC. No need to finagle anything. The games will be ON!!! :-)

  4. RICKY says:


  5. PatFromSeattle says:

    I’ve gone with a variant of #5; I’m taking my boss to a local pub to watch a bunch of the more “important” (to me) games. There’s a whole group of soccer nuts in our company and we’re bringing as many of our bosses as we can. General goal is to get the company ready for next World Cup when we *all* go to the pub. ;-)

  6. Alison says:

    I’m definitely thinking of a combo of a bunch of these – watching games before work, of course, taking a few strategic days off (sadly, no one else at my company does the work I do, so I can’t really take long stretches of time off), etc. We have a TV in our conference room and I’m thinking of seeing if I can borrow a laptop from IT and work in there for some games :)

    My boss knows I’m into soccer I think, but I don’t know if she knows the depth. But we’re friends, and she’s awesome, so I can probably work it out without even having to lie…much ;)

  7. M Emanuel says:

    Those are all great tips. I am fortunate that my wife allowed me to schedule our honeymoon during the early rounds of the World Cup, so I’m definitely taking advantage of #1. Once I’m back, I’m sure I will try and work with #2 to try and catch what I can before work and during lunch.

    I’d also suggest tapping any client resources that you may have. If you work in an industry where you have interaction with clients (law, sales, financial advising, etc.) and you have a client that follows the sport, the World Cup would be a great “client development” activity. You would not only be getting your soccer fix, but you’d also presumably do your business relationship some good in the process.

  8. Alison says:

    Damn, I just noticed while looking over the schedule that on 6/22 through 6/25 there are four games a day, two at a time (one on ESPN, one on ESPN2, and all on ESPN360). That’s going to require some brainstorming…

  9. jose says:

    for me it will be live on the weekends. thank god usa-england is on a weekend and the rest hd dvr after work.

  10. Mike in Idaho says:

    I agree with Jose, live on weekends and HD DVR after work. I’ll just have to avoid certain internet sites so as to not have the results spoiled.

  11. Phil McThomas says:

    My office has a gym in the basement with a TV. I’m going to be in the best shape of my life by the middle of July.

  12. Felipe Garcia says:

    Well in ’06 I got hurt and had to have surgery 2 weeks before the World Cup started. I was at home recovering for the next 7 weeks, needless to say, I got to watch the entire tournament. I don’t think I’m going to take the same route this time around. I think I will be using a combination of the DVR and mobile TV

  13. Red in Chinatown says:

    Are there any audio only radio/ internet feeds in the US? I’m assuming that BBC 5Live will block international listeners for games. A proxy server is not feasible at work to get around this. I realize I will get audio from the ESPN360 feed but would prefer a radio commentary.

  14. Dooh says:

    My wife’s due date is the first week in July, oh darn Family and Medical Leave Act…

    So the Group Stages will have sporadic Extended Lunches and I will be bringing in my laptop just for Sling box / ESPN3 access.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Best way to get boss onside (and you watching World Cup) is to score some brownie points.

    Tip management off about something new which will make them and the business look good

    Try this

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