March Madness costs employers $1.9 billion in lost work time

March Madness costs employers $1.9 billion in lost work time

The basketball pools for March Madness that officially start March 16 will cost U.S. employers as much as $1.9 billion in lost work time caused by distracted and unproductive workers. That estimate is based on calculations by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. More than 60 million Americans fill out tournament brackets, and many people take time out of their workday to complete the brackets and conduct research needed to make informed selections.

So should bosses ban the betting and tell their staff to get back to work?

–Absolutely not,” said John Challenger, CEO of the firm.

–If anything, employers should embrace March Madness and seek ways to use it as a tool to boost employee morale and engagement,” he said. –For example, creating a companywide office pool that is free to enter and offers a free lunch or gift card for the winner could help build camaraderie and encourage interaction among co-workers who may not typically cross paths.”

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