March Sadness for US Corporations

March Madness is an expensive distraction in the workplace, costing billions in productivity losses.

March Madness comes to an end this Tuesday with the National Championship game, and many bosses in the United States will most likely be celebrating the tournament’s conclusion.

However, the result of the game will not be the reason for their celebrations, it’s the fact that their employees will no longer be distracted by non-stop, pulsating college basketball action.

It is estimated that March Madness could cost US companies a combined USD$6.3 billion, due to a significant drop in productivity from employees. This is caused by watching and following live games (as some of the tournament is played during office hours), engaging in office pools and sweeps - and then continuously discussing and being distracted by these competitions - and simply ignoring work tasks in general to concentrate on the 64 team playoff frenzy.

Matt Hoffman, Vice President of mortgage broker Draper and Kramer, seemed to agree with the productivity decrease, stating "If March Madness wasn't around right now, there'd be a lot more people doing a lot more work.''

In a recent survey conducted in the United States, it was found that during the tournament’s duration, March Madness is the third most distracting factor in the workplace, slightly behind text messaging and Facebook. But surely basketball is a much healthier distraction!

Despite the massive loss in productivity, the news is not all bad for American corporations, as around 90% percent of workers who were surveyed agreed that March Madness was “good for employee morale”, which could help boost productivity in the long term.

 

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