March Madness and Management Choices

My husband stood at my office doorway with a childish, almost sheepish but pleading look. It was 8:00 PM at night. “If we left now, we could be in Louisville tomorrow afternoon in time to see our favorite team play.”

What is this March Madness? It makes grown men into college fraternity boys all over.

One TV report I watched cited research by an executive outplacement firm, Challenger Gray & Christmas. They assessed March Madness last year and found that 2.5 million people watched the games online.

This translated into about 8.4 million hours of lost productivity for the firm with about a $192 million dollar financial impact. And this does not account for the pre-tournament days when employees are filling out their brackets.

The flip side?  Workers were happier and were more productive in the hours they actually worked.

So as managers, you have a choice to make:

1. Put a TV in the break room, ‘forget’ to monitor Internet surfing and consider March Madness a benefit for workers who have been loyal through the recession.

2. Stick to the policy of produce while you are at work.

What is your choice? How do you see March Madness? Leave your comments below and weigh in on the debate.

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