As First Four gets underway, March Madness takes toll on employers
Shana Rose Reporting
The NCAA men's basketball tournament First Four starts today, and employers are gearing up to try and stem the loss of productivity March Madness brings every year.
With the games available this year on Android smartphones and tablets, in addition to Apple devices that had that availability last year, a new survey from employment specialists Challenger, Gray and Christmas shows more fans than ever will have access to the games while they're at work.
"We're expecting that March Madness could cost American companies at least $134 million in lost wages during the first two days of the tournament," says CEO John Challenger.
Some employers some will throttle back internet service, he says.
"They might shut down the websites that will stream games...We're seeing some companies take aside sports junkies, who are just caught up and that's all they can seem to think about."
But Challenger says many companies are focused on employee engagement and retaining and attracting the best talent. With unemployment now dropping, Challenger says they'll just put up with it this year.
"Even though it's expensive, for many companies letting people choose how to use their time, as long as they get work done and they do a good job at it, is a better way to treat people."
The NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports have partnered once again to offer NCAA March Madness Live, which offers free streaming across all internetconnected devices for all pay-TV subscribers.