Watching the games at work, March Madness affecting business

March basketball productivity drop

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - March Madness is one of the biggest events on the sports calendar, specifically the first two days when there are 32 games in 48 hours.  Whether it is on a TV, the Internet or a cell phone, there is a good chance you, or someone you know watched part of the games today at work.  That is a good thing if you are a fan, but it is bad news for business.

A survey by the firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said nearly one third of employees will spend at least three hours following the tournament during the work day.  The group estimates March Madness will cost employers $134 million.

Garrett Howell said instead of fighting employers who want to watch the games, the company brought the madness to the workplace.

"They're televising the game during lunch and they are providing lunch for the company," Said Howell. "Then also for the first five minutes and last five minutes of all the games that involve local teams or teams that are your alma mater."

Some businesses like Interactivity Marketing in Conway are going an extra step in helping employees watch while they work by setting up a projector in the conference room.

"I'm sure we'll be eating lunch here where we are streaming," said Paige Plyler, an employee with the company.  "Our manager is also letting us watch at our desks throughout the day so between our desks and the conference room I'm sure we'll be up to date on the latest games."

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