Employers lose billions in productivity during NCAA tournament, research firm estimates

Productivity loss includes time spent watching the games, filling out brackets talking about games

Employers can lose billions in productivity during march madness, research shows

The men and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments can cause some problems for employers when people watch the games during normal working hours.

According to the work outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, INC., U.S. employers lose around an average of $13.3 billion in productivity during the tournament. That is based on an average hourly earning of $27 an hour for “all employees on private non-farm payrolls”.

The firm also estimated that “each hour spent on the games at work” can cost employers about $2.1 billion. The numbers include time spent actually watching the games, filling out brackets and talking about the games to co-workers.

The research found nearly half of all workers, about 75 million people, would spend around six hours of work time on basketball tournament activities and this year due to the pandemic, people are working from home and combining their work time with screen time even more.

The Challenger firm said they encourage companies to embrace the problem, and instead, they could turn it into a bonding experience for their team by doing an office pool or hosting a viewing party on Zoom. This could also be a great stress reliever considering everything people have been through with the pandemic, the Challenger firm said, and it can pay off in the long run.

A number of studies show that happy employees not only work more quickly, but also perform better than workers who are not happy.

About the Author:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.