March Madness: More Like March Mildness This Year

The traditional employee productivity drop isn't expected in this recessionary year.

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Every year around this time, we begin to see the stories on March Madness and its deleterious effect on employee productivity.

But not this year. Challenger, Gray and Christmas isn't even estimating the effects this year. “In light of the fact that employers and employees have more important things to worry about, we feel that any attempt to estimate the impact of March Madness on productivity would be counterproductive and inappropriate," John Challenger said in a statement.

Not only this--Challenger thinks employers ought to embrace and boost March Mildness this year:

“Companies can use this event as a way to build morale and camaraderie.  This could mean putting televisions in the break room, so employees have somewhere to watch the games other than the Internet.  Employers could also offset productivity losses by using the Tournament to boost morale.  Employers might consider organizing a company-wide pool, which should have no entry fee in order to avoid ethical and/or legal questions."

Boy has the tide turned. Last year, Challenger estimated companies could feel some serious March Madness pain--as much as $3.8 billion in lost productivity thanks to distracted workers checking game scores online. Not everyone, however, agreed with that math.

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