While customers are watching the Super Bowl at Boston’s

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Common Ground Bar and Grill Shareef Miller Jersey , waiters and bartenders will pause to see key moments as well. General Manager Jeff John understands his staff wants to see if the New England Patriots can win their third NFL title in four years.

”Your first focus has to be the guest,” John says. ”But we all get caught in the moment from time to time.”

Big sporting events are often a workplace distraction. But many small business owners and managers are cutting staffers a little slack as football fans find it hard to resist chatting about Sunday’s game. The Winter Olympics, the NCAA basketball tournament and other big events are coming up, and staffers may want to tune in.

Some owners realize that trying to eliminate sports talk or forbidding staffers to watch games is demoralizing and also difficult to achieve. So as long as there isn’t too much Monday morning quarterbacking or time spent in front of the office TV, bosses will go easy on fans. Some companies are even more understanding; it’s OK there for staffers to watch games in break rooms, and some owners even run office pools without cash prizes.

John has noticed that when the games are most exciting, customers want to watch, not order. So if waiters want to pause and see the play, he doesn’t stop them. Besides, when a waiter high-fives a customer after great play, it increases the bond between Common Ground and its diners.

A flexible attitude is a good management practice for company owners, says Philippe Weiss, an attorney with expertise in employment law at the firm Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago.

”They’re not going to be able to stop people’s excitement http://www.eaglesfootballauthentics.com ... -authentic ,” Weiss says. ”Trying to do so in an unyielding or draconian way is going to backfire.”

If the boss sees productivity slowing, or employees not tending to work that needs to be done, Weiss suggests a firm but friendly approach. For example, if there’s too much watching of NCAA games, tell staffers, ”It’s time to do a fast break back to work.”

David Niu doesn’t worry about productivity at TINYpulse, his company that makes software to measure worker satisfaction and morale at other businesses. There’s a TV that will show NCAA games in March and employees will be able to watch. But they’ll also be held accountable for getting their work done.

”Instead of fighting it, I’m going to treat you as an adult,” says Niu, whose Seattle-based company has 100 employees. He expects staffers to cluster in front of the TV during the last few minutes of some of the games – and he’ll be there with them.

Watching TV during at work was once verboten. But many employers have come to realize a more employee-friendly work atmosphere benefits everyone; when staffers feel relaxed and are allowed to share a little fun, they’re more productive and do better work.

Actualize Consulting used to have a policy about watching and discussing games that managing director Kerry Wekelo now calls rigid. The bosses would end conversations, and ”that would burst people’s bubbles when they were excited,” Wekelo says.

The financial consulting firm with offices in New York and Reston http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/a ... son-jersey , Virginia, has since changed its policy. If employees want to take a couple of hours to watch a game, they can, as long as they make up the time. The bosses also run an NCAA pool in which the winnings can be used for wellness purchases like gym memberships or treadmills.

Owners shouldn’t run pools with pure cash prizes, which are illegal even though employees at many workplaces have them, Weiss says. If a boss runs a pool and staffers feel pressure to take part, it could be raised in a potential lawsuit against the company. Or workers who don’t want to take part may resent the boss.

It’s not so easy for people who work in a factory to watch games or spend time away from their work to chat. At Ratchet Straps USA, which makes straps to tie down items like tents or farm equipment, the headsets staffers use to communicate with one another in the warehouse have private channels, and owner Michael Russell is fine with them talking about the game or anything else while they work. He understands sports are important for many at his Belleville, Ohio, company, and they’ll want to gather around the TV in the last 10 minutes of NCAA games.

”Watching the last couple of minutes is something that we definitely even encourage Devin Bush Jersey ,” Russell says.

Richard Lee is really the only big fan at his Los Angeles law firm, and is likely to be alone watching NCAA games on the conference room TV. He still runs a cashless pool for staffers. After the tournament, there’s an awards luncheon and even non-participants are eligible for a last-place medal.

”This is a fun morale booster and break from what is often the dead-serious practice of law,” Lee says.

Since it’s pointless to try to ban sports fans from watching or talking, Ross Sapir, owner of Roadway Moving based in the New York City borough of the Bronx, doesn’t even try.

”They don’t have to do it on the sly, on their cellphones or watching it in the background of their computers,” says Sapir, whose moving business has 40 staffers in its office, including many who want to watch the games on company TVs.

The big sporting event at his company is the World Cup soccer tournament, which runs from mid-June to mid-July. The games will be in Russia and many will be broadcast during working hours.

”I actually almost give them complete freedom to watch,” Sapir says. ”It’s such On a night the slumping Giants broke out of their offensive funk and ended a four-game losing streak http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.c ... -authentic , second baseman Joe Panik was forced out with a groin strain and is likely headed to the disabled list.

Such is life for manager Bruce Bochy and his beleaguered ballclub this season.

Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI single to drive in Hunter Pence from second base in the seventh inning and the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Friday night.

But San Francisco’s win was tempered by the loss of Panik, who was injured while running from first to third on Gorkys Hernandez’s double in the fourth.

”Bad break there,” Bochy said. ”We are going to get an MRI tomorrow, but it looks like he’s headed to the DL. It’s hard to say how long. He did a pretty good job on it.”

Panik, a Gold Glove winner in 2016, missed 31 games this season with a sprained left thumb. His latest injury had Bochy and his staff scrambling to make roster moves after the game. Rookie Alen Hanson is the likely replacement until Panik returns.

”It’s a DL situation, so we’ll huddle up here and talk about what move we’re going to make,” Bochy said.

Pence reached on a pinch-hit single off John Brebbia (1-2) leading off the seventh. After Hanson sacrificed Pence to second and Posey was intentionally walked, McCutchen pushed a 2-2 pitch into left field to drive in the go-ahead run.

Pablo Sandoval homered, Buster Posey singled twice and Brandon Crawford scored on a wild pitch to help the Giants’ slumping offense break out.

Reyes Moronta (5-1) retired one batter to earn the win. Will Smith pitched the ninth for his third save.

Kolton Wong had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals.

St. Louis was limited to five hits after setting a season-high with 18 on Friday.

”There’s going to be some nights when they’re going to shut you down,” manager Mike Matheny said. ”You have to figure out how to manufacture. You’re not going to be able to score 11 every night.”

It was a back-and-forth game most of the night. After Wong’s RBI double in the second gave the Cardinals an early lead, the Giants tied it in the bottom of the inning without a hit. Crawford and Sandoval walked. Crawford took third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch.

DAD’S HERE

Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez pitched effectively into the sixth inning, but wasn’t even the most popular member of his family at the ballpark. His father Justin Layne Jersey , Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, sat near San Francisco’s dugout and received a huge ovation from the crowd as highlights of the former catcher’s career played on the giant scoreboard in center field.

”I didn’t even notice until they told me,” the younger Rodriguez said of the videos of his father.

DEJONG RETURNS

Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong was activated from the disabled list after missing 45 games with a fracture in his left hand. DeJong had not missed a game this season before getting hurt.

”I was kind of anxious before the game just to get out there and start playing because I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while,” said DeJong, who went 1 for 3 with two runs scored.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: To make room for DeJong, LHP Austin Gomber was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.

Giants: 3B Evan Longoria could begin swinging off a tee and taking grounders by the end of the weekend, less than three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand. Longoria is on pace to rejoin the team in the first week of August.

UP NEXT

Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (5-4, 3.20 ERA) goes for his third consecutive win Saturday. Martinez pitched two-hit ball over nine innings, but left with a no-decision the last time he faced the Giants on May 20, 2017. RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 6.56) will come off the disabled list to pitch for San Francisco in his first start since May 29.

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