March Madness

3 reasons why office distractions don't matter

March 14, 2011: 3:42 PM ET

The devastation in Japan and the start of March Madness will provide even more reasons than usual to be distracted at work. Should we really care?

By Anne Fisher, contributor

Yes, it's that time of year again. Almost 80% of employees admit, in a new poll by career site, that they'll probably bet on basketball games at work, which will doubtless contribute to the 8.7 million hours in lost productivity that Chicago outplacement giant Challenger, Gray & Christmas is projecting for the three weeks of the NCAA championships.

It's not as if there's nothing else going on. What with the constant stream of horrendous news from Japan, that adorable laughing baby video on YouTube (you know the one), Charlie Sheen's incessant multimedia rants, and other attention grabbers too numerous to mention, let's face it, people may be a little…distracted.

If you're the boss, should you worry about it? The short answer, according to Susan Scott: Probably not.

Scott is the founder of Seattle-based training and executive development firm Fierce Inc., whose client roster includes Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Coca-Cola (KO), Starbucks (SBUX), General Electric (GE), and many other heavy hitters. Scott is also the author of a bestseller called Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today. More

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