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Does the NCAA Tournament actually increase productivity?

Mar 18, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky Getty Images

It’s almost time for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The time when games are played at lunch hours on weekdays and no one feels like doing anything but watching the games at work.

Well, here’s a recent study that you can take to your boss as a way of convincing them to relax when they catch you watching Michigan State/Valparaiso on Thursday at 12:15 p.m.

Turns out, according to a study by OfficeTeam shows that a a survey of over 1,000 managers concluded only eight percent see a drop in productivity. In addition, twice as many managers said they saw a positive effect in the NCAA Tournament time and 75-percent said they saw no productivity drop.

A previous study by Challenger showed that a calculated loss of productivity would amount to $134 million lost. Though they made light of their own study, saying, “gives legitimate scientific studies a bad name.”

Here’s a more in-depth description of how Challenger, Gray and Christmas does its study.

Challenger takes the 2.2 million average daily viewership the tournament drew last year on NCAA March Madness Live, which is streamed free online for certain pay-TV viewers. Then it inflates the number to account for the growing use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and arrives at “at least 3 million viewers.”

Then Challenger takes the average U.S. wage of $22.38 an hour and multiplies that by 3 million viewers and by two days — during the first two days many games occur during work hours — to arrive at “at least $134 million.”

The story also gets into several other polls to choose from, stating the case for both sides.

It’s not an exact science. Unless you go around asking companies, employee by employee, how much time they spend watching the tournament at work, you won’t learn the extent of the “damage” the tournament does to ones job production. And frankly, who cares? It’s a pseudo-national holiday over the next few weeks, so indulge. We at CBTonNBC give you permission — and read our blog to accompany your viewing experience.

So, in conclusion, to all my previous teachers, all those times you caught me listening to the games on my hand-held radio, you were only hurting yourself.

 

 

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