Managing the “Madness” in the Office

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re a college basketball fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about – March Madness. And with some of the best games happening during business hours, how will you stay updated? If it’s by streaming the games online, you may end up in hot water with your stressed out IT co-worker.

A survey conducted by Modis, a global provider of information technology staffing services and the second largest in North America, recently reported 42 percent (of 500 IT specialist surveyed) say March Madness historically has impacted their network.

Of those affected, 37 percent report their networks have slowed down, while 34 percent report March Madness activity has essentially shut down their networks for a period of time.

That is madness.

If you don’t want to be responsible for crashing the server (and making enemies at work), social media can help you. You know your old college friends will be posting status updates on Facebook. You may be able to get away with checking your phone for bracket updates and visiting Twitter during that afternoon meeting (follow your favorite team, @marchmadness, @ESPN and @CBSSports, to name a few). And those buzzer-beating highlights will be posted to YouTube before you know it. Finally, even more mobile devices will have access to the live games this year (might not want to tell your boss that one).

Employers may worry about a lack of focus and productivity from workers during this annual distraction. However, according to a study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, they should embrace March Madness “as a way to build morale and camaraderie.” As long as deadlines are met and customers are happy, March Madness can be a positive distraction that helps enhance internal communication.

So, don’t get down if you’re stuck in the office. From tip-off to the “One Shining Moment,” you can track the madness wherever you are.