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Do You Need a March Madness Policy at Work?

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

March Madness is set to begin. So is it time you consider adding a March Madness policy at work?

While the general public may know March Madness as an exciting basketball tournament filled with upsets and drama, business owners may associate March Madness with a huge drain on work productivity, lost hours, and distracted workers.

March Madness can be particularly distracting early on, when games begin in the middle of the workday and continue through the night. Here are some reasons to consider adding a March Madness policy at work, as reported by The Wichita Eagle:

  1. To free up bandwidth. Employees no longer have to wait to go home to watch a game. Instead, you can simply live stream the games over the Internet. This streaming can take a huge toll on your company's bandwidth. So as some employees watch games, other employees may have trouble performing work with slow Internet times and serious lag.

  2. To counter productivity loss. When it comes to work productivity, there is no sinkhole quite like discussing 32 match-ups in the opening two days. Everyone becomes an expert on college basketball and will feel the need to share this expertise by discussing the merits of their Cinderella picks.

  3. To avoid breaking the law. Office pools involving money may violate local gambling laws. Don't let your employees turn your workplace into an illegal sports book.

If you decide to implement a March Madness policy, you may want to strike a balance between being completely liberal and being iron-fisted. Allowing your employees to have fun with March Madness can actually be productive in some ways, as it increases morale and bonds workers.

You can strike a fair balance by taking employees out to lunch and designating one hour where workers can freely talk basketball. You may also want to oversee the office pool, thereby ensuring that no illegal gambling is going on.

Finally, you may want to communicate that checking scores is perfectly fine -- but live streaming 16 games a day is not OK. Especially when there are customers waiting to be served.

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