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ICC Cricket World Cup 2011: The CIOs-Employees Productivity Match Begins

From outright bans to trusting the employee; from keeping them updated with widgets to adding TV sets in the cafeteria; CIOs are taking multiple routes to ensure that the Cricket World Cup craze doesn’t hamper office productivity.

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It’s the time of the year when a large majority of employees will fall sick. And it isn’t malaria or the flu that is to blame. The sojourn of the Men in Blue, which starts tomorrow with the kick-off of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 at Bangladesh, is about to set many hearts racing and have as many employees not turning up at office.

At a time like this, when even the managers are itching to get back home to catch a glimpse of that match defining catch, maintaining productivity becomes a cause for concern. So, with the cricket fever set to run high amongst the employees, some CIOs have decided to tackle the issue head-on.

“We have blocked all websites that post live scores or offer live video streaming of the matches and other news channels. Unlike football, cricket matches continue for many hours and happen during office hours, and has serious bearing on employee productivity,” says Sanjay Chowdhry, Country Head-IT, General Cables.

This might be the traditional approach but there are CIOs out there who believe that controlling employees is not a good idea. Taking a more lenient approach Haresh Mandhayan, VP-IT, ING Investment Management India says, “We haven’t blocked any sites. Every employee knows his responsibility- if he is capable of enjoying cricket during work hours and yet do his work on time, we do not object.”

In order to avoid absenteeism and ease the strain on the networks, which is seen to peak especially during tournaments like the World Cup and the IPL, providing the employees a platform to stay updated with the game might just be the right tactic to keep them productive. “To counter the strain on bandwidth, we have introduced live score updates on our intranet, so that employees do not have to log on to the web to check scores,” says Amarendra Kumar Singh, VP-IT, Comviva. “We have also put up TV sets in the cafeteria where employees can go and watch the important moments of the match,” he adds.

Satyajit Sarker, AGM-IT, DTDC Couriers believes in having checks and balances along with the permissions. “We will be exercising a controlled democracy in terms of allowing the employees to get cricket scores,” he says. They will block the access to the websites providing cricket scores and live streaming and would instead send an internal mailer every half hour with a score update. “We have also placed a TV in the lobby which is under admin surveillance. So while people can go there and check the live scores, they will also know that they are being watched,” he adds.

So, while the employees would be ready with their plans of action for this World Cup; are you prepared with an approach to keep them happy at their desks?

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