Distracting, Consuming (Annoying?) Tourney Madness

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- March Madness is officially underway, and with so many ways to sneak a peek at hoops action online, or check a bracket on a smartphone, some employers have simply stopped fighting the Madness, and embraced it.

Even the most powerful men in the world are finding themselves distracted.

(Click here to see the President's bracket.)

"The way it brings the country together and families and communities, people rooting for their alma maters," President Barack Obama justified.

It has always been a challenge for employers, with some games during the day, others late into the night and the workplace ritual: The office pool.

Almost one in five employees surveyed by Career Builder said they'll spend more than an hour in their workday checking scores, most of them on the sneak. Then, of course, they'll have to respond to comments and tweets on their social media of choice.

"A lot of companies put restrictions on their network  and the sites that you can go to, or tell their employees that they can't do that," said Samantha Cicotello, Chief Learning Officer at The Motley Fool. "Well, in today's day and time, it just makes liars out of your employees."

Because with so many smartphones in employees' pockets, workers don't need the company computer to do it.

So, rather than fight technology, a few employers like the Motley Fool in Alexandria, Va., are seizing it as an opportunity to boost workplace morale, with barbecues and big screen TVs.

"It's wonderful to increase collaboration," said Cicotello. "It helps the employees get to know each other better."

But not every company is there just yet. So if you plan to watch, cheer or trash talk your way to the Final Four, even if it's on your own device, just be aware of your company's policy. So.....  Basketball or business?

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