Contact Us
Make My Homepage

March Madness Costing Employers? [AUDIO]

Employers would be wise to expect a drop in productivity among their workers over the next few weeks, and especially over the next couple of days, as March Madness launches and college basketball tournament games start airing all day and night.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

NCAA Basketball Tournament
Doug Pensinger, Getty Images

Companies can lose more than $1.2 billion for every unproductive work hour during the first week of the 2014 NCAA Division I men’s tournament, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. An estimated 50 million Americans are participating in office pools related to the tourney.

“While March Madness distractions may not alter the nation’s quarterly GDP numbers, you can be assured that department managers and network administrators notice the effect on work output and company-wide Internet speeds,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of the firm.

Challenger indicated the impact on productivity comes from several directions, the largest coming on Thursday and Friday, when games start tipping off in the middle of the work day on the East Coast.

David Strand, a partner at labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips in Murray Hill, noted companies won’t be able to stop everyone from watching games on their phones or checking scores online, but employers can attempt to stem the loss in productivity by laying down some ground rules.

“You may think about putting television sets or computer monitors in break rooms or coffee rooms of lunch rooms, and allow them to get caught up while they’re on their breaks, so they’re not doing it at their desks,” Strand suggested.

Office pools are technically legal in New Jersey, but the host mustn’t take any money off the top. Strand said the entry fee should be reasonable, and participation should be voluntary.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.