Why CIOs shouldn't worry about March Madness productivity losses

Matt Kapko

That can quickly translate into an even greater belief in the company's direction and long-term strategy, he adds. "People are focused on driving objectives that they believe in," says Fagiano.

Of course, it's not all about happy feelings and good times. Companies with engaged employees outperform other companies by an average of 200 percent and enjoy net revenue gains as high as 50 percent, he says.

"I think you have to start with the realization that you're not going to prevent people from sneaking a peak at 2 o'clock tomorrow or whenever," says Fagiano. "I think it's accepting reality and building camaraderie, which will build a sense of engagement."

Building a sense of teamwork through company brackets during March Madness is a critical opportunity, Fagiano adds. "Control it, use it, rather than being afraid that it's just going to run rampant."

His message to IT managers and CIOs is simple: March Madness could impact as much as half of the workforce, but it's a short window of time that can be capitalized for more long-term benefits.

Camaraderie Is Worth a Little Lost Productivity
SnappyTV CEO Mike Folgner says his company's pool of brackets is the chatter of the office on Monday mornings. "For me it's the camaraderie," he says. "Giving each other a hard time is well worth any distraction or productivity that might result out of it."

Trying to limit distraction during events like March Madness is a lost cause. "It's going to happen either way so you might as well get some cultural bang for your buck," says Folgner.

SnappyTV is tracking the volume of social activity around each game or moment and sharing that data with its customers. The company is also powering many of the social features in Turner Sports' official NCAA March Madness Live app, showing users the volume of tweets throughout the course of a game and identifying spike in activity around key plays.

Twitter is also promoting social activity around the tournament with a page listing the official handles for teams in the hunt and visual map of the country that shows the top states in which users are mentioning the hashtag #MarchMadness.

You can also follow the NCAA's March Madness account @MarchMadness and get upset alerts, channel change notices and clips from the tournament's official broadcast partners @MarchMadnessTV.

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