Let the Madness begin

March 19, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
madnessThe Madness this March is going to be a little crazier than usual. Due to advances in high-speed wireless technology, more people than ever will spend time at work paying attention to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year. According to Challenger Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement consulting firm, U.S. companies will absorb $1.7 billion in lost worker productivity as a result.

That’s a dramatic increase from the $765.7 million in lost worker productivity due to March Madness in 2004. Challenger Gray officials blame the increase in productivity loss on improved technology which allows more fans to track the tournament through the Internet. This year, for instance, more fans than ever will be able to watch high-speed video of the tournament. Just last year, Challenger estimated the productivity loss at $1.2 billion.

“This could be a milestone year when the tournament’s early rounds go from a shared screw-off venture—people crowded into bars and huddled into break rooms—to a solo one with everyone quiet in their cubicles,” said Yahoo! Sports reporter Dan Wetzel.

Some of the Web sites that allow fans to watch live video feeds of tournament games even have a “boss button” which allows work-place scofflaws—with a single key stroke—to dump the screen when their supervisor walks by.

While the Super Bowl, World Series and Indianapolis 500 are bigger sporting events in different ways, nothing quite unites the entire nation like the specter of the NCAA hoops tournament, sports marketers said. This year the tournament includes teams from schools large and small from 30 different states and  the District of Columbia.

Are workers wrong to watch basketball games, check up on scores or fill out a tournament bracket on company time? Or is a little down time each March within an otherwise hard worker’s right?
  • It should be pointed out that the loss is figured as though no one wastes any time at all during all other times of the year. I think it's an interesting study, but maybe slightly flawed. It certainly shows the time at work spent messing with the NCAA tournament is on the rise, and from what I can see at my work place, that's pretty right on. But all in all, it's probably pretty harmless and might even be a boost to morale. By the way, I bet on UCLA to win the whole thing.
  • I like basketball, but this idea that it's ok, even good sport, to cork off at work for hours at a time is the reason foreign imports are knocking U.S. makes all to heck. Having a boss button on these Web channels is way over the top.
  • There are several studies out that show it is more efficient for employers to allow their employees personal internet use at work than to prohibit it. If they buy something on the internet, they might not disappear shopping for half an hour or an hour. If they bank on the internet, they don't need to leave work to go to the bank. With the tournament on the internet, your employees are at least showing up to work rather than calling in sick or disappearing for a three hour lunch. I'm there to be accessible to my clients. Am I as productive as a non-tournament day?? Probably not. Am I more of a benefit to my employer because I actually am in the office? Yes, I am. I guess the answer here depends on what kind of work you do and how easily distracted you are. I'm not going to watch streaming videos of the games at work, but some people will. Keeping the scoreboard on an open window that I can access throughout my day curbs my curiousity and keeps me from ditching to watch games. It's portions of 4 workdays throughout the year. Let's face it, the employers are doing the same thing. The tourney isn't just for the lower-level workers.
  • I think these studies need further study. But as a small business owner, I know the problem is real!!!

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!