Office pools for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, the Super Bowl, and the World Series may be great for employee morale, but there is evidence that it takes a serious toll on productivity. According to one source, last year’s March Madness sapped more than $192 million in lost productivity (more than 8.4 million hours of work).
Of course, many believe that there is no significant impact on productivity and there are other benefits derived from having an office pool. One study last year found that “labor productivity may be slightly reduced on the short term, [but] employee cohesiveness may increase on the long term.”
March Madness merely points out the need for companies to consider their year-round policies about personal time for workers, the majority of whom have smartphones. Should time be restricted for personal calls? Personal time on the Internet?
Even if there is no formal policy for employees, owners can set the tone for the companies. How owners behave directly affects how staff behaves. You decide!