March Madness Harms Productivity and Networks

By Dennis McCafferty
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    An estimated 50 million Americans will take part in March Madness office pools, and 56% of them will spend at least one hour of the workday on tournament activities.

As the NCAA Men's Division Basketball Championship tournament kicks off this week, millions of workers will take part in office pools and monitor the games at work while using their company's computers and networks, according to research from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Office distractions are common all year long, but the first week of March Madness is particularly burdensome for workplace productivity because of the time spent preparing for the tournament and then watching it, the global outplacement firm reports. "You have workers setting up and managing office pools," says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Then, of course, there are the office pool participants, some of whom … spend several hours researching teams, analyzing statistics and completing multiple brackets." The Challenger findings combine the company's original research with other data and survey statistics from organizations such as MSN and Turner Sports. We've included some of those highlights here, and also have added research from OfficeTeam and RetailMeNot, some of which indicates that concerns about the distracting nature of the NCAA games could be overstated.

This article was originally published on 2014-03-16
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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