How March Madness Affects Workplace Productivity

How March Madness Affects Workplace Productivity

There is nothing like a little college basketball to help get your blood pumping, especially when it might be your alma mater going to the final four. But the March Madness tournament may have your boss’s blood pressure skyrocket for a much different reason. Statistics prove that workplace productivity slows tremendously during March Madness. There are so many more facets to the tournament that affect workers’ office time.

The anticipation of the tournament carries the most weight. Employees spend time discussing which teams they think should make the tournament and which ones should not. When the teams are decided, employees then continue on their discussions which then tend to lead to office pools or other tournament-based competitions. Filling out brackets can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours depending on how “into it” a participant might be. Some people spend a lot of time researching teams to see which ones will make it the farthest.

Once the tournament itself starts, employees can sometimes be found streaming the game at their desks or talking about the latest stats at each other’s cubicles when they should have been working. Last year, employee placement specialists Challenger Grey & Christmas Inc came up with an estimate of $1.9B before the 2015 March Madness tournament they expected to be lost due to lack of productivity. The figure was derived using the average hourly earnings of $24.78 (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and assuming each of America’s 50 million workers were to dedicate 1 hour of work time to March Madness. As that statistic was formulated before the 2015 tournament, we are not sure if it ever actually came true.

What do you think about March Madness? Will you be participating in any office pools this year? If so, will you take time from your workday to dedicate to tournament prep or viewing?

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