Accompanying the NCAA Tournament every year is the inevitable junk science study about how much money is lost in worker productivity during the NCAA Tournament, when employees either take extended lunches at a bar to watch games in the early afternoon or flip between whatever they’re pretending to be working on and a video stream on their computer.
The methodology used in these studies is questionable, as is the basic understanding of worker productivity that informs them. Arguing that the tourney depletes productivity assumes an office worker operates at full productivity when basketball isn’t on. That workers aren’t just finding other ways to distract themselves online. Moreover, these stories are written by and intended for the Darren Rovells of the world, people who want to quantify every aspect of the human condition into a monetary value. Worse still, they actually convince many a boss and human resources to block employee access to sites that are streaming the game, just because someone read a stupid article with a pull quote from a flawed study about how it might cost them money.
Americans are overworked as it is. Stop trying to guilt us for not working every second of our lives. Of the 10 days that the NCAA Tournament occupies, only two of them have games that occur during typical 9-5 weekday work schedules. Two days! And one of them is a Friday, when employees are inclined to slip away early for the weekend anyway. So f*ck these studies. It’s a good thing I’ve already started drinking today.