Worried About the March Madness Productivity Drop? 5 Tips to Help Your Business Thrive

Worried About the March Madness Productivity Drop? 5 Tips to Help Your Business Thrive

March 01, 2024

Analysts claim that businesses risk losing $1.2 billion for every hour of lost productivity during the first week of March Madness. Throughout the tournament, as employees watch games, fill out brackets, and talk with coworkers about their predictions while on the clock, businesses suffer even more severe losses. 

Worried about a productivity drop in your business? Then, check out these five tips to help your business thrive during March Madness.

Carve Out Time for March Madness

If you like, you can create a strict policy against all March Madness activities, but often, these practices end up backfiring. They can make employees feel micromanaged and disregarded. Ultimately, this can erode trust as employees go behind management's back to watch games or talk about the tournament. 

Instead, consider embracing March Madness. Although this approach may feel counterintuitive, allowing your employees to participate in these types of activities can improve morale, make employees feel valued, and ultimately have a positive impact on workplace culture and employee retention rates. 

Ask Employees to Use Their Own Data

Streaming the games can compromise your enterprise's internet speeds, and this can affect the productivity of workers who aren't even interested in the tournament. If you want to allow workers to watch the games but don't want your bandwidth to suffer, consider asking employees to stream the games on their cell phones using their own data plans. 

Push Deadlines the Week Before March Madness

Whether you plan to embrace March Madness activities or not, your employees are likely to be distracted during that week. Even if you ban March Madness, your employees may be mentally distracted as they think about who's winning while they wait for breaks so they can check in on the action. 

Get ahead of these distractions by completing as many projects as possible and setting deadlines before the tournament starts. If you're going to allow March Madness activities, you can use them as a carrot on a stick to entice your employees to meet deadlines in the weeks leading up to the games. 

Offer Flexible Hours

Unfortunately, a lot of the March Madness games happen during regular working hours. If you don't want your employees to watch these games while on the clock, consider offering flexible work hours during this week. Have employees log their usual number of hours, but let them work around the games. 

When your business fosters a work-life balance for your employees, you create a more hospitable work environment. This can actually improve your bottom line. A look at the 100 best companies to work for indicates that these companies have 2.3% higher returns than average. When employees appreciate their workplace, they tend to work harder, act more loyally, and stay with their employers longer. They are also less likely to be burnt out, and they provide better customer service. 

Tie In Productivity Goals to the Madness

Find creative ways to leverage the excitement about March Madness to improve productivity. For instance, if employees meet certain goals, let them take off the afternoon to watch a game. To encourage collaboration, you may want to make company-wide goals. 


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1.2 billion stat http://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/march-madness-could-cost-employers-12b

2.3% stat... https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/shopping-and-consumer-news/11553473/Are-happy-workers-more-productive.html