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I have long been a proponent of workers getting time off on days that follow a major sporting or television event, especially if it runs late. In a perfect world, the day after any Super Bowl would be a national holiday, cities would declare civic holidays for days after their local professional or college sports teams win a championship, and employers would be more forgiving of late arrivals the morning after a late-night playoff game. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and our oppressive employers still force us to come in groggy and possibly hungover after these events, despite the fact that they know everyone in the office was tuned into them the night before and that productivity would be practically non-existent as a result.
Fortunately for employees in the United Kingdom office of +rehabstudio, a tech company, their employers are sympathetic to this plight and told the staff that they would be receiving time off the Monday morning after the season 6 Game of Thrones premiere and working a half day.
From The NY Post:
A company is giving its employees a half-day off on April 24 — so they can stay up late and watch the “Game of Thrones” premiere.
The tech company, +rehabstudio, surprised its United Kingdom staff earlier this week when it announced they would get next Monday morning off.
“We’re always trying to look after our guys and make sure we’re giving them the best work environment and social life as well,” said the company’s founding partner Tim Rodgers.
The sixth season of HBO’s hit show premieres next Sunday and airs in the US at 9 p.m., but it doesn’t make it overseas until 2 a.m.
Many of Rodgers’ 68 employees at the Belfast office are obsessed with the award-winning series, especially because parts of it are filmed in Ireland.
“They are massive fans,” he said.
The fact that this is happening at a tech company is not the least bit surprising at all. You know all those tech nerds are huge Game of Thrones fans. It’s probably a mandatory condition of employment at any tech company. And since tech companies are known for taking care of their workers really well and providing them with an almost playground-like atmosphere at work, it’s almost a given that you have to give them this as a partial holiday to maintain your culture as the quirky employer who lets their employees have fun.
But mostly, look at what ungodly hour Game of Thrones is aired over there. Not only do you have to watch an adrenaline-packed hour-long TV show starting at two in the morning, but engaging in online forum or Twitter discussion about what you just watched is mandatory for Game of Thrones, so you can tack on at least another hour and a half you’re going to stay up after the show ends. And since the internet is rife with spoilers after the shows air, you pretty much have to watch it live because then your internet navigation becomes the equivalent of walking through a minefield to avoid those spoilers. If company-wide viewing at 2:00 a.m. and a subsequent decline in productivity the next morning are inevitable, why bother trying to fight it? Let them sleep in so they can come to work more rested. So kudos to +rehabstudio for benefiting twofold by knowing your workforce enough to provide them with this thoughtful benefit and giving them enough time to rest up so that they’ll be productive and firing on all cylinders when they do come in.
As a side note, most people’s initial reaction would be to say that it’s almost not fair for a show like Game of Thrones to air at two in the morning in the UK, but let me remind you that American viewers are forced to tune in to live coverage of the British Open at similar hours over here (On work days no less), so those limey bastards don’t deserve your sympathy. Besides, the show usually leaks hours, if not days before its supposed to air, so they can just watch a pirated version at a reasonable hour and can basically swindle their employer into giving them free PTO to sleep in more. I guess what I’m saying is, yes, I am bitter about these Brits getting time off the day after a god damn television show airs while I am still expected to trudge my hungover ass into work after every late Blackhawks playoff game this postseason. If any of the presidential candidates decide to run on this platform, they have my full, blind support. .
Image via YouTube