With March Madness starting Tuesday, many believe the American workforce will be paying more attention to the games than their jobs.
According to a report conducted by OfficeTeam, this might not be the case. Only 8 percent of the 1,000 managers surveyed said March Madness would hurt worker productivity, NBC News reports. The majority, 75 percent of managers, said the college tournament would have no impact on employee productivity.
"It's often better for managers to acknowledge the appeal of events like March Madness and provide opportunities for their staff to enjoy the festivities rather than ignore them," OfficeTeam Executive Director Robert Hosking said in a statement.
In contrast to OfficeTeam’s findings, firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, which publishes annual reports on the topic, said March Madness will cost companies at least $134 million in lost wages during the first two days of the NCAA tournament alone.
Another survey conducted by MSN found that 66 percent of employees said they would watch games during work hours, NBC News reports.
In the wide scheme of things, March Madness barely affects the American economy.
“At the end of the day, March Madness will not even register as a blip in the overall economy. Sequestration is going to have a far bigger impact,” John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.
Even still, businesses are taking precautionary measures to make sure employees keep their eyes on their work and not their brackets.
A national survey by Braun Research found that one-third of 500 IT departments plan to block, ban or throttle March Madness content, Forbes reports.
In the end, the research may be overreaching.
“Will March Madness even have an effect on a company’s bottom line?” Challenger asks. “Not at all.”