March Madness Productivity

Most businesses have policies in place to keep their employees from getting to websites which threaten employee productivity like games, pornography and gambling sites. The standard list of website categories to black list is pretty obvious, but the biggest online time waster for employers is coming up on March 15th, and it’s not just one day of your staff’s time that will be chipped away at, it’s a two week block.

I am not advocating for companies to block any of the various streaming websites, on the contrary in fact. I believe allowing your staff to watch or stream games is a good morale boost for the office. Most companies have bracket challenges anyway so if you block streaming you are likely to aggravate the masses. Now that Nevada has received its seeding and time slot to play (March 16th @ 1:30pm PDT) there is even more reason for the non-fan to pay attention this week.

Allowing the tournament to be streamed (bandwidth dependent), or creating a common area for your staff to take a break and watch a bit of the games can be a nice boost to morale. Not only that, but it encourages communication with one another outside of typical workplace conversations. Strengthening the relationships between your employees can lead to increased productivity and collaboration as new relationships are established. So even though you may see this as an opportunity for your employees to take advantage of your generosity it may very well pay dividends down the road. A survey by Randstad U.S. found that nearly 89% of employees who take part in office pools notice increased morale and camaraderie.

However, with 50 million people expected to participate in a bracket challenge there will definitely be some lost work hours to make up for. In 2016 the average wage of those employees was $25.35 per hour with productivity loss estimates in the $1.3 billion range. If you add in the time spent on researching and bracket creation that number sky rockets to nearly $4 billion, and that is all within the first week! While that seems like an extraordinary loss most agree that the benefits of participating in an office tournament pool will outweigh the 2 weeks of basketball fueled distractions.

Workplace productivity appears to be on a decline according to many reports. Whether it is burnout from employees performing repetitive tasks, a generational mindset or the availability of mobile technology distractions it is something that every business owner must confront. Let March Madness be a rejuvenator for your staff. Go Nevada.