While President Trump has stated he will not fill out a bracket for this year’s NCAA tournament beginning March 14th, millions of workers across the country will likely spend company time researching teams and making their picks. This activity could cost employers over $600 million, according to one more conservative estimate.
More than 40 million Americans fill out tournament brackets, according to the American Gaming Association. Applying the current employment to population ratio to that figure, 23.7 million workers will fill out brackets for this year’s games.
Of course, the distractions do not end with filling out the bracket. Even more productivity is lost over the first two full days of tournament play (Thursday and Friday), when a dozen games are played during work hours.
While this annual tradition has become commonplace in the American office, there is a cost in terms of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers. This year, the cost could reach as high as $2.1 billion, according to calculations by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.