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Study: March Madness Responsible for 73% Decline in Wasting Time at Work
By Mike Range
HOUSTON - As college basketball fever descends in workplaces across the country, researchers have revealed that it may contribute to a startling decline in other ways of wasting time at the office.
A study released by the National Institute for Working Science showed that wasting time at work for the typical American office dweller drops 73% during the month of March on average.
“Our research showed that the time usually spent away from work - going to the water cooler, taking a cigarette break, or ‘pooping,’ all drop significantly,” said NIWS director Steven Coolidge. “The average worker is actually at their desk more than usual during the month of March.”
While the act of filling out brackets and watching basketball games may prove fun for the average Joe, business leaders are forced to grudgingly come to terms with the fact that, over the next few weeks, productivity will also drop, despite that extra time spent at their desks.
Not so fast, says Coolidge.
“We found the overall output of work doesn’t actually change, oddly enough. It’s specifically how workers are spending their time pretending to work that undergoes a dramatic shift every March.”
Still, economists around the globe remain skeptical about the study’s findings, insisting that overall labor does take a hit thanks to employees' focus on bracket-benefiting buzzer-beaters.
However, sources tell End of the Bench “they're just pissy about picking Kentucky to win the tournament last year.
“Nobody had them [Kentucky] losing to St. Peter’s, it was a bad day for the entire country outside of New Jersey, no matter what your job title was,” the source added.
End of the Bench managed to catch up with a few office workers who wished to remain anonymous to get their take on the study’s findings.
"This basketball craziness could actually cost me money," a sales department manager said. "I do most of my online poker playing in the office between ten and four, and I bet I'll miss out on a couple of hundred bucks checking whether Creighton reaches the Sweet Sixteen."
That concern over the loss of income is a shared sentiment.
"The tournament comes at the worst possible time. Of course, I will follow along to see if my alma mater can beat Marquette,” said a medical lab assistant. “But there are only so many hours in the workday, you know? Plus, I have a fantasy baseball draft to prep for."
No matter where you may stand on the study, one thing is for sure - the country’s economy will now brace for a level of productivity that will inevitably remain precisely the same as it has always been.
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