My Kinda Place!
Washing sand out of my shorts while smoking.
That's me...always Multi-Tasking
Mosaic: Brian Jay at a Rock103 Remote in 1998
"Divers do it deeper..."
It never fails. About this time of year when March Madness rolls around, news stories appear warning how workers watching the tournament will be responsible for astronomical amounts of lost productivity in the workplace. One study this year found that March Madness may cost employers up to 192 Million in lost productivity.
It's time for me to CALL B.S. on this crop of Junk Science and expose it as the steaming pile of horse excrement that it is.
The first problem I have is with the methodology these studies use to make such a determination. It starts out with the false premise that if it weren't for basketball, productivity in the office would be at 100 percent. That just isn't the case. The office is normally filled with a host of distractions that include breaking news stories, gossip, relationship problems, financial problems, transportation issues, social media, and even simple daydreaming. Substituting one distraction for another does NOT result in a net loss of productivity.
My other hint that this is all junk science comes from the mathematics of it all. It just doesn't add up. Out of the 10 days in which games are played during the tournament, only two of them have games that are played on workdays in a regular 9 to 5 office situation. Only two! And one of those days is a Friday. Games don't begin until the middle of the work day, and by mid day on Friday, most people around the office are already dreaming up ways of bailing out early to get a headstart on the weekend. Not much productivity lost there, that's for sure.
And finally, these studies are usually written and read by upper management types; bean counters stranded in the lofty Adminisphere, who have some strange notions about what productivity is all about. Sometimes, the human experience can't be easily quantified.
In his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People", Stephen R. Covey described a process that he called "Sharpening The Saw". The idea is that if your job is cutting wood all day and you periodically take the time to sharpen the saw, you'll end up being more productive then those who keep hacking away with the same dull blade.
In today's work environment, the "tool" that we use most often is our mind. And I suspect it could use a good sharpening. There's nothing like competitive sports to bring out the winner in all of us.
To the aforementioned bean counters in the Adminisphere, I would say this: Stop trying to guilt-trip us into working every single minute of our lives. Americans work quite hard enough already.
And if you've ever seen a basketball game turn around in the last few seconds to give a last second victory to the underdog, you'll know that it is the combination of teamwork, good communication, and individual excellence that makes it possible. And those characteristics are something we can take away from the basketball game and bring back to the office with us.
Enjoy the games...and stay rockin' my friend.
P.S. Feel free to send a link to this blog (anonymously) to bosses who aren't very understanding about this whole March Madness thing. :-)