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Television In The Office: Yay Or Nay?

​The television has become a frequent fixture in practically every office. Some work environments demand the availability of television in the office at all times. Many offices have televisions in their break rooms or use them in lobbies and reception areas as additional marketing tools. Even others have televisions thrown into the office as background noise and to keep employees happy.

However, there are pros and cons to having a television anywhere in the office.

1. Televisions in break rooms:

A television placed in a break area is a popular choice.

Pros:
  • Employees know what is happening in their world.
  • Television shows provide points of conversation among office members.
  • Employees find it easier to relax.
  • Company events, news, and information can be broadcast on televisions to keep employees informed. 
  • If there is a gaming console available, games relieve stress and increase productivity.

Cons:
  • Employees may disappear to the break room to catch their favourite sport or news event, leaving their work undone.
  • An important event will distract employees from work.
  • Employees may watch television instead of engaging with other workers.
  • Arguments may result as people will begin to fight over what is showing.
  • Employees may actually have no interest in watching television for 15 minutes during their break, so it may be a waste of money.

2. Televisions in lobbies, reception areas, or waiting rooms:

Clients are no longer interested in magazines or marketing brochures, opting instead for visual stimulation.

Pros:
  • As customers have no choice as they wait, television can be used as a marketing and information tool for the business, boosting sales.
  • Televisions are considered a customer service: Tune into local news or programming or select channels correlating with your business type.
  • A television gives the impression that the business is connected and lively. 
  • Television creates a more relaxing, welcoming environment.

Cons:
  • If the television is too loud, customers will feel as though they are being forced to watch.
  • Customers may not be interested in watching television so you must provide other entertainment options.

3. Televisions in the general work environment:

Televisions have sneaked into even the most rigid of environments due to the belief that they increase productivity and decrease stress.

Pros:
  • It will be easier for employees to strike up conversations with one another or learn about each other, making for a more cohesive office environment.
  • Employees will feel connected to the outside world and in the know.
  • Employees will be less likely to surf the Internet for news if a television is broadcasting it.

Cons:
  • People already watch too much television as it is and it encourages employees to sit at their desks all day.
  • Employees will opt to eat at their desks, creating an unhygienic environment.
  • Some content or issues may offend some employees through racist, sexist, or sensational commentary.
  • The television is distracting both visually and aurally - be sure to keep the volume low or even off entirely.

It may be a good idea to conduct an employee survey to discover how workers would feel about a television in any area. If the consensus is an overwhelming ‘Yay!’ be sure to introduce a strict television etiquette policy with rules about volume, channels, and who can choose what to watch.


By Roane Swindon



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