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March Madness® in the Office Hero

March Madness® in the Office: Balancing Personal and Professional

March Madness® captivates the nation each spring. However, its excitement can be distracting in the workplace. Our most recent study, based on a survey of 851 employees and 151 HR professionals, examines how March Madness viewing habits influence Americans’ productivity during working hours. We also offer insights to help businesses navigate this period while balancing morale and workplace performance.

Key Takeaways

  • More than 1 in 4 employees plan to watch March Madness during work hours.
  • More than 1 in 4 employees have watched March Madness while working, for an average of 2 hours per workday.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 plan to fill out their brackets during work hours.
  • More than 1 in 5 HR professionals surveyed said they have seen decreased productivity in the workplace due to employees watching March Madness.

The March Madness Playbook at Work

march madness employee survey results
  • 28% of employees have watched March Madness while working.
  • 26% of employees plan to watch March Madness during work hours this year.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 plan to use PTO to watch March Madness.
  • 26% of employees who have watched March Madness at work were caught, but the majority (69%) did not receive a warning or reprimand.
  • 1 in 3 have worked on their bracket during work hours, and 31% plan to do so this year.
  • 15% of employees say their companies organize brackets for employees.
  • Percentage of companies organizing employee brackets by company size:
    • 7% of micro companies (1-9 employees)
    • 19% of small companies (10-49 employees)
    • 15% of medium companies (50-249 employees)
    • 18% of large companies (250+ employees)

HR’s Perspective on Productivity and Morale During March Madness

march madness hr manager survey results
  • 48% of HR workers report workplace issues due to employees watching March Madness during work hours.
    • More than 1 in 5 have seen decreased productivity.
  • Over 1 in 3 HR workers send workplace policy reminders before March Madness.
  • 31% say their company organizes a March Madness bracket for employees.
  • According to HR professionals, some of the best ways to manage March Madness fun and employee productivity include:
    • Aiming to balance work and event enjoyment to keep productivity and morale high.
    • Promoting team-building activities based on March Madness.
    • Communicating with employees before March Madness about time-off or work flexibility policies so the whole team understands current HR practices.
    • Offering employees flexible or remote work options on game days.
    • Creating designated viewing areas at work to reduce the likelihood of employees using work or personal devices to stream the games.


We surveyed 851 employed Americans and 151 HR professionals to explore March Madness viewing in the workplace. Of the 851 respondents, 30% worked in a hybrid setting, 36% worked in-office, and 34% worked remotely. The survey was conducted from February 28-29, 2024.

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Fair Use Statement

You’re welcome to share the insights from this study for non-commercial purposes. Please include a link back to this page, allowing full access to our findings and methodology.

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