Boss Says No Hoops At Work? – That's March Madness!

All over America over the next few days, there will be managers inside workplaces actually worried about employees watching college basketball at work. I know. I’ve worked with that type.

They’ll be so worried that many employees will be forced to sneak in viewing (pretending to do something else) while one survey shows 6 out of every 100 workers will take at least one day off to watch the NCAA Tournament away from the office. So many bosses will stress over “lost productivity” and a “lack of focus.” Talk about March Madness.

For some good internal PR, just let your workforce enjoy two half-days of basketball on the job. It’s something we do every year at Tanner Friedman, for those who are interested, and it’s not just because I’m an admitted college hoops junkie. It’s because it fits our core value of work/life balance and because there’s simply no real downside.

It’s hard to imagine a company suffering a catastrophic loss of business just because employees have at least one eye on basketball games during one Thursday and Friday afternoon in March. With trustworthy people on board given the right technology, customer needs can still be met. We’re not talking about shutting down an assembly line. We’re just talking about letting people keep up with games via computer and/or TV.

The latest survey shows the aggregate loss of productivity for US businesses this week to be more than $1 Billion. But leave it to the author of the survey, a PR master himself who is always positioned well on workplace trends, John Challenger of Challenger, Gray and Christmas to put things into the proper perspective. Time “wasted” keeping up with basketball this week “will not even register a blip on the nation’s economic radar.” This is coming from an HR guy! He went on to say, “Rather than try to squash employee interest in March Madness, companies could embrace it as a way to build morale and camaraderie.”

In the name of morale and camaraderie (not to mention reality), enjoy the games, even at work.