RALEIGH, N.C. — Thursday started the same as many other work days in offices all over the country. But then the clock struck noon, and basketball came on.
Somebody, somewhere, figured that employers lose $101 million for every 10 minutes employees spend obsessing about the NCAA tournament. According to some estimates, businesses will lose $1.5 billion during the NCAA tournament.
So, when loss of productivity is not an option, some bosses implement a watching strategy.
The architects at Pearce, Brinkley, Cease and Lee work on deadline. They juggle between one and four projects at a time and can not afford to slow down.
"We'd just end up coming in on the weekends to get it done," architect intern Jennifer Attride said.
But during March Madness, the employees' computer screens make room for a TV screen.
"This is about the only time we get it for anything extracurricular," Attride said.
The screen is strategically placed so that employees can look up from their desk and check the scores, or at least try to.
"Our reception is not that great," architect Greg McClure said. "So, we can't really see the score. But at least we can hear it."
They can hear just enough information to keep score in the cubicle and get work done for the customer.