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January 25, 2022

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I’m … um … working

Employers ponder steps to prevent March Madness from sapping productivity

Employers across the nation are planning to clamp down on naughty employees who planned to enjoy Internet broadcasts of the NCAA Tournament while at work.

’Fess up. You know who you are.

Evidently, the boss does too.

In a story in USA Today this week, employers said they were planning to use software that blocks workers from accessing the online coverage or that slows the video to a point where the broadcast of the men’s basketball games will be, as one Michigan school district administrator says, “so painful you won’t want to watch it.”

In addition to making workers idle, the video takes up so much computer space that it can slow company networks to a crawl. As one computer industry official told USA Today, the NCAA Tournament “is the single most-dreaded event due to bandwidth and productivity concerns.”

Employer crackdowns can be especially sobering for Las Vegas Valley workers, who may not only participate in a variety of office pools (with no money involved because that’s illegal, of course), but also legally bet on the tournament at local sports books.

Still, there are those who are on the employees’ side in this debate — albeit not the ones signing the paychecks.

Jason Kint, general manager of, which is hosting the NCAA online, told USA Today that rather than fight March Madness, employers should embrace it as a morale-builder.

Maybe. Allowing employees a little NCAA break here and there during the day could be uplifting — as long their teams are winning.

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