(CBS Local) — Filling out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament at your office? A new study finds the average U.S. employee will spend six hours of office time keeping track of March Madness instead of working this year.
According to a survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, the average worker spends 25.5 minutes a day on March Madness-related activities. Adding up the 15 workdays the annual college basketball tournament runs through, employees take over six hours of work time focusing on watching games or checking scores online.
Researchers at OfficeTeam say office managers should actually look at the lack of production as a good thing. “While employers may worry about events like March Madness being a distraction in the office, allowing workers to enjoy sports-related activities for even a few minutes can be time well spent,” district president Brandi Britton said in a press release. “Staff will appreciate the opportunity to bond with colleagues and return to their desks rejuvenated.”
The survey of 1,000 employees and 300 senior managers across the country found that 46 percent of U.S. workers enjoy celebrating March Madness however, a third of workers say they just play along even though the tournament doesn’t interest them.
OfficeTeam adds that employees should make sure they avoid certain activities connected to the tournament that could get them in trouble with their bosses; such as gambling. “If you’re going to do something, make it a prize or something that is more of an object than actual money,” Trey Barnette told WTOP.
The D.C. office representative adds if you’re staying out late to watch the games, don’t use it as an excuse to miss work the next day. “Go ahead and already take that day off with some personal time off instead of calling in abruptly late that day,” Barnette warns.