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It’s that time of year again – the clocks have been changed, the weather has become milder, chaos has descended on the usual spring break locations, and…March Madness is right around the corner!

According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, more than 50 million workers in the United States, or 20 percent, may join their office pools this year. This number has clearly been trending higher, with an estimated 15% having participated last year and 11% in 2014. So with all the attention turning to TVs, mobile phones, and tablet devices, just how much will the loss of productivity cost?

The firm estimates that employers will lose $3.9 billion in wages to employees – in the first week, alone!

While managers across the country brace for this dip in productivity and consider measures to limit it, Challenger, Gray & Christmas notes that getting in the way of the fun could have adverse long-term impacts on morale that overshadow the slowdown expected to take place over the next few weeks.

Bosses, beware…


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