A handful of weekdays on the sports calendar truly command Americans’ attention from coast to coast. Of course, one is Super Bowl Sunday, which results in National Hangover Day at work on Monday. Then there are the first two days of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Games start at noon EST and employees hover around the break room T.V.s and groan from their desks while watching their office bracket bust — all while streaming the game on a computer or tablet. The result could possibly be a couple of afternoons in which employees are less focused on their jobs than normal.
Do Americans really work less during March Madness?
Productivity loss during March Madness has been a topic of articles and discussion for years. A video discussing this topic went viral over the weekend from CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield. She was discussing the business of college sports with CNN business reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn. He said on the program that Americans are becoming increasingly less productive at work during this time of year.
“It’s costing employers in lost productivity,” Meyersohn said to Whitfield. “Lost productivity up to $17.3 billion [per outplacement services company Challenger, Gray & Christmas] this year. That is up $1 billion from a year ago, and that’s because we have more Americans working than we did a year ago. Wages are also up.”
First and foremost, I don’t work in one of those treacherous Amazon factories that allow people to order toothpaste for a dollar cheaper and have it delivered to their doorstep the next day. So Nathaniel please don’t track my productivity with a barcode scanner — even though your data doesn’t apply to me because, due to my occupation, my workload greatly increases during March Madness.
Furthermore, this data alleges that corporations collectively lost just over $17 billion during the opening rounds of the men’s basketball tournament. In fairness, for all of the ways I get exploited by those corporations on a daily basis, I have the world’s tiniest violin that I would rather throw in the ocean than play in sympathy with their plight.
When I am going to see gas prices under $4.00 in Los Angeles again? Oil companies are enjoying record profits despite these worldwide supply chain problems. My internet service provider just hiked my monthly bill as thanks for four years of my business. Water is getting filthier and yet still more expensive. Also, with the cost of living continuing to skyrocket, the only home ownership in my future is if I purchase a Diana Ross or Stephanie Mills cassette single.
You know who loses money regularly? Me. My tax dollars go to wrongful death lawsuit payouts following extrajudicial police killings while the “job creators,” that are forced to endure the heartache of a couple days of decreased productivity receive tax breaks.
I understand that CNN is a 24-hour news network that has to fill an entire day of content, every single day. Therefore, anything and everything will be used to fill up air time. That being said, in a world that grows more hostile towards workers by the day, I could care less about examining how this dusty and stale topic affects corporations. My word, people still react like humans, unlike the robots that will soon replace us all and torpedo the world economy.
I don’t even know how accurate any of the data has been on this topic, and I don’t care. Employees of America, mail in a few days at work during March Madness. Your boss will make it up from you tenfold throughout the rest of the year.