The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments start this week. While these exciting college sports events bring exciting comebacks, underdog wins, and pride in employee alma maters, they also can usher in several weeks of reduced productivity, potentially contentious employee interactions, and – believe it or not - legal risk.
In 2016, 70 million tournament brackets were completed, many of which involved office pools. The first round of March Madness reportedly costs employers an estimated $4 billion in lost productivity. As part of this decreased productivity, employers may experience an up-tick in absences and the live-streaming of games on employer technology that can detract from work time and create a serious technology lag for legitimate business applications. For example, it’s being reported that perhaps as many as 12 percent of employees will watch a basketball game during a work meeting this month.