March,Madness,Does,Affect,Work sports March Madness - Does it Affect Work?
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If surveys are right, American productivity is taking a big hit down this week, thanks to March Madness the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Every Americans might have their own March Madness Bracket now.U.S. businesses owners and managers are getting their selves ready as workers follow the tournament on their computers, iPods, and iPads. It's been estimated that 2.5 million workers will access online coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, and those fans will spend an average of one and a half hours a day watching games and highlights. In a recent survey, more than 40 percent of IT professionals said that the spike in internet use has affected their office computer operations in recent years, in some cases causing their systems to grind to a halt.This year, estimates of lost productivity range from $175 million to $1 billion. But what do we really know about the connection between March Madness and worker productivity? Through my research, I came up with clear evidence of the NCAA tournament's effect on patterns of work. Whether it's a serious problem is another question.My research suggests that the tournament has a profound and widespread impact on patterns of work. The clearest effect was a significant drop in articles viewed during the week following Selection Sunday. In each of the three years I observed, the daily number of articles that users looked at this week dropped about 6 percent. This decline started on Monday and lasted the entire week. This 6% drop affected everybody. It didn't matter if the library in question had a team in the tournament or even if they had a Division I basketball team at all. But I wouldn't necessarily say these effects as clear and consistent as they were represent declines in productivity.So a true test of whether or not the tournament causes any real decline in work must focus on how fans respond to unanticipated outcomes. Tracing fan behavior in these cases is akin to a natural experiment, because the outcome of any game is more or less a random occurrence. For universities whose team won unexpectedly, it was party time: work declined 19% the following day, but for that day only. But when a team lost one of these games, there was no effect.Big-time college sports leaves a giant footprint, and the influence of March Madness on patterns of work is just one example. But American productivity probably isn't affected too much, no more than it is by, say, Thanksgiving. In conclusion, people have fun during March Madness. They take out their March Madness Bracket for some time and watch the NCAA coverage but most of them find a way to get their work done so theres no need to worry about. Lets just enjoy this great season in sports and lets all get hook up in March madness craze!