Tuning In: TV at the Office

Close Up Of Man Sitting On Sofa Holding TV Remote

Business professionals across the country are tuning in to TV. Between blockbuster shows like Game of Thrones and Scandal, there’s plenty to talk about, especially around the office water cooler. Some are even keeping up with their favorite series at their desk. A third of business professionals catch up on a TV show or game during the work day, according to a recent Office Pulse study.

Emails, Meetings, and… Netflix?

For some professionals, watching TV is simply part of their work routine. 17% of white-collar workers admit to watching TV ‘regularly’ or ‘sometimes’ during work hours. An additional 16% of workers at least have the patience to wait until their work break to get their fix.

When it comes to gender, men are a bit more guilty of watching while they’re on the clock than their female colleagues: 21% of men are watching during work hours compared to 14% of women. While the younger generation may have earned a bad rap for being lazy, the older generation isn’t doing much better, at least not when it comes to watching TV instead of working. 17% of Millennials regularly or sometimes watch during work hours, compared to 19% of Baby Boomers.

Game of Thrones is King at the Office

Game of Thrones continues its reign as the most-discussed television show at the office, leading other popular series such as The Walking Dead and This Is Us. Half of all professionals (49%) discuss HBO’s juggernaut ‘GoT’ series in the workplace, consistent with last year’s majority of 48%.

Which of the following shows are regularly discussed at your office?

Game of Thrones: 49%

The Walking Dead: 20%

This Is Us: 16%

The Bachelor/Bachelorette: 13%

The Big Bang Theory: 9%

Next time you’re at the water cooler, don’t assume everyone is excited as you are about who received a rose on The Bachelor, or who was sent home on The Voice. A little more than 1 in 4 (27%) business professionals feigned interest in a TV show or sporting event to impress a colleague or client. Sometimes its just easier to smile and nod.

Spoiler Alert!

Inevitably, spoilers make their way into office TV chatter. 39% of business professionals have had a show or a sporting event spoiled by someone at work. So, how do professionals avoid spoilers at the workplace? 36% will watch shows live as they air so they’re all caught up at work the next day.  For those professionals that fall behind on their favorite series, they’ll go to extra lengths to avoid spoiler conversation. 29% have shushed a coworker spouting spoilers or asked them to stop talking, and 27% have gotten up and left the room.

If there’s anyone at the office who should learn to shout ‘spoiler alert’ before spilling the beans, its junior staff. 30% said they’re the biggest spoiler culprits.


What lengths have you gone to in order to avoid spoilers at the office?

Shushed a coworker/asked them to stop talking
Left the room
Covered my ears
Put on noise-canceling headphones

As the fall ushers in a new season of shows, professionals will surely have a lot to talk about – and watch – at the office.


About Office Pulse

Office Pulse by Captivate offers marketers timely analysis and insights from a proprietary panel of upscale professionals in the top markets. The Office Pulse panel of more than 8,000 influential consumers and business decision makers includes C-level executives, Millennials, middle management, small business owners, working women and working moms.

About Captivate

Known for its vast network of nearly 12,000 elevator displays located in 1,600 premier office buildings across North America, Captivate connects advertisers with 13 million unique monthly viewers through creative, research-driven and Nielsen-measured advertising and marketing programs. By engaging its viewers with timely news and actionable information that helps balance the personal and professional demands of the workday, Captivate provides advertisers with a highly desirable and difficult-to-reach audience of affluent and influential business professionals. Founded in 1997, Captivate is owned by Generation Partners. For more information, please visit www.captivate.com.