Will your boss let you watch the Cubs game this afternoon?
When the Chicago Cubs take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a crucial game at 3:37 p.m. today, will your boss let you watch it?
Will you be able to sneak in some streaming on your smartphone? Perhaps slip into the break room to catch the scores on TV? Or will your company prohibit any viewing?
It depends on the boss and the type of work being done.
"There's a TV in our breakroom, so I'm sure some people will stop in for a few minutes to catch the game," said Mike Gasparino, director of contracts and proposals for Ace Computers in Elk Grove Village, which makes custom-built computers for NASA and government agencies.
Some employees duck outside for quick cigarette breaks during the day, he said, so "what's a few minutes in front of the TV?"
Companies will be juggling productivity with history as the Cubs head into Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. But whether employees will be allowed to use company time and resources to watch the game, instead of keeping the nose to the grindstone, depends on the company.
When March Madness crept into offices this year, about 50 percent of senior managers felt activities related to March Madness boosted productivity at their companies, said a 2015 survey by OfficeTeam, a staffing firm and division of Robert Half.
Cubs madness could have the same effect, said Michelle Reisdorf, regional vice president for Robert Half in Hoffman Estates, Gurnee, Northbrook and Rosemont.
"Companies have to understand that people are very tied to their teams. They're very loyal," Reisdorf said. "And sure, watching the game could hurt productivity. But it won't be that much and it could help to boost morale."
Some businesses don't allow TV watching, saying it's not safe for workers.
"The official word is, they cannot watch TV," said Mark A. Maloney, sales and marketing manager for Metal Impact, a custom metal design company in Elk Grove Village. "We do have a shift that ends at 3 p.m., so they're on their own if they want to watch it, and then the second shift starts. They just cannot watch TV and still be safe working with machinery."
"We'll be done by the time the game starts," said Mike Grzegorek, vice president of IdentaTronics in Elk Grove Village, which operates on an early shift.
Ben Opp, finance manager for Pirtek in Chicago, South Holland and Elk Grove Village, said the company has no TVs.
"Some people may watch online, at least to see the scores," Opp said.
Just In Time Staffing LLC, with offices in South Elgin, Carpentersville and Bensenville, is owned by an avid baseball fan.
"People may listen to the game on the radio, but no TV," said sales consultant Nancy Patton. "But the owner is a die-hard baseball fan, so they may be lenient."
Integrated Project Management in Burr Ridge also has a company owner who loves baseball. But he's a White Sox fan.
"I don't know at this point what they'll do, but we have an owner who is a baseball fan," said business developer Anthony R. Scrima. "They may allow people to watch, within reason, because the game is late enough in the day. It's hard for people not to root for a Chicago team."