"The Think Tank" with Garland Robinette
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Posted: Wednesday, 19 March 2014 9:08AM

College basketball tournament means madness in the office?

Employers can expect to see their workers' productivity plummet, with the onset of March Madness.

The annual roundball classic has brackets replacing business in many offices.

One outplacement firm expects companies to lose $1.2 billion for every unproductive work hour during the first week of the tournament. That's based on average hourly earnings, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

UNO Business Professor Dr. Steve Crow doesn't agree.

"There's going to be some fall off, okay? But I don't think it's that much."

In fact, he sees it as a morale booster.

"I think it's a positive thing, across the board," says Crow. "I think it really fires you up. I think it's a good thing, and I think most of the Fortune 500 companies understand this."

"It's almost like a minor vacation in the workplace when you're sneaking into televisions or something like that to get the games. It's a wonderful thing."

He says it might even make for more worker activity.

"You get so pumped up, and actually, your productivity is not going to be negatively affected too much because you get pumped up about getting the job done. It's like a shot of adrenaline."

Rather than worry about it, or try to curtail it, he says employers should become part of it.

"They might want to talk to people and say, 'Listen, let's get the job done, also, and have a good time at the same time'."

He doesn't think employers should try to stop it.

"Trying to stop something like that, that's a tradition, is like pushing a rope, Crow says. "And, how are you going to stop workers from doing those kind of things if they're that attracted to that kind of event? It' a great event, as far as I'm concerned. I think I would take a day off!"

An estimated 50 million people reportedly took part in March Madness office pools last year, and the number should be about the same this time around.


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