No March Madness Workplace Productivity Loss: Recession Is the Big Bracket Buster

Don't worry, boss, employees are too fearful to peek at games in this work environment.

A detail shot of a basketball during the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship Semifinals at the Ford Center March 13, 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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Hold team sweatshirt day. Relax the dress code (for employees not meeting with customers) for the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament so fans can wear the sweatshirt of their favorite college.

Offer flexible schedules. On the four days when tournament games are played during work hours, allow workers the opportunity to arrive early so they can work a full shift and still leave in time to see the games.

Keep a bracket posted. For employers without companywide Internet access, keep a large, updated tournament bracket in a common area so workers can check their teams' progress.

Stay tuned. Keep the television in a break room tuned to coverage to eliminate the need for workers to sneak peeks online, which can slow everyone's Internet connection as bandwidth is constricted.

John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of global outplacement and business coaching consultancy at Challenger, Gray & Christmas.