Workers spend more time watching NCAA basketball tourney

utmenbb_atb_01.jpgAmerica’s workers will spend more time than ever this year watching the NCAA men’s basketball championship thanks to wider online access to games, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates.

Challenger says workers will spend 8.4 million hours online watching games on smart phones and other mobile devices during work hours. The financial impact of this lost productivity is more than $192 million, assuming private-sector workers’ average hourly pay of $22.87, Challenger says.

But before the bosses get all bent out of shape, give ’em these stats:

“Over the three weeks of the tournament, the nation’s 108 million workers will have logged more than 11 billion hours of work. The 8.4 million hours lost to March Madness is a relative drop in the bucket, accounting for less than one-tenth of one percent (about 0.07 percent) of the total hours American workers will put in over the three weeks of the tournament,” Challenger CEO John A. Challenger said in a press release.

If you ask me, the morale boost the tourney generates is well worth the miniscule hit on office productivity.

Now, who’s got the office bracket sheets?

Check out the Challenger March Madness Productivity Report

Photo: Tennessee guard Scotty Hopson tries to swipe the ball away from Mississippi State guard Ravern Johnson at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. (Knoxville News Sentinel/ Adam Brimer)