Does March Madness lead to maddeningly low work production?

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The madness is upon us! March Madness that is, but does that lead to madness in the workplace?

It's the time of year that many people look forward to. Filling out brackets, rooting for your favorite teams, and of course following all games to see where you stand. But it makes you wonder, does this type of involvement have an effect on your work?

"Everybody watches the scores, and a little competitive thing going," said Steve Moberg, who is part of his office pool.

"Attention span gets decreased, everybody checking their bracket, if they're not watching it on their phone or their computer," said Joshua Timian, who also is part of his office pool.

It's March and it's madness alright, and many people are participating in a workplace bracket pool.

"It can interfere with projects you're working on, or being able to focus on what's important -- whatever the priority is for that day," said Cynthia Kyriazis, a productivity expert.

She says the tournament can have an effect on workplace productivity. Those participating agree with Kyriazis, but don't think it's creating too much of a distraction.

"Maybe you're going over to talk to another person at their desk more often, but do I actually see a diminished work output? No, and if there's work I need to do, I'm doing it, and when your boss filled out a bracket, it's not too bad," added Timian.

"There's definitely some times spent watching basketball or following the scores or whatever, but hopefully I'm getting my work done too," Moberg said.

On the other hand, many feel that having an office pool has a positive effect on the workplace environment.

"Generally I think it increases the workplace attitude," said Timian.

"You also get camaraderie, maybe some team work, people get to know a different side of the people they work with," added Moberg.

"There are lots of people working long hours, so it helps them kind of break up the day," Kyriazis said.

She says it can make you lose focus, but it can also help you relieve stress. She recommends using something called time blocking.

"I'm going to come in at 8 in the morning and I'm going to work diligently until such and such a time, let's say 10, and at 10 I'm going to allow myself a 15 minute break and that's when I go check," she added.

For the legalities on participating in a bracket pool, and there are a lot of them, please click on this link.

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