Are office basketball brackets a good idea?

INDIANAPOLIS - In March, college basketball is king for hoops fans.

Tournament games leading up to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship capture the attention of fans who hope to correctly predict which team will take home the title.

Bracket is the buzzword, especially in work environments, where many fans enter office pools to predict the winning team of each round.

While all in fun, some studies show that the brackets may cost some employers hours of productivity by enthusiastic employees.

Cathy Chamberlaine, a management instructor at Butler University, said there are other factors companies should consider before banning bracket challenges from the workplace.

"I've heard rumors that it costs companies $1.4 billion for the first two weeks (of the tournament) so there is definitely a loss of productivity," Chamberlaine said.

Basketball fan Kyle Heimer said filling out a bracket is a way to build workplace camaraderie.

"It's a good way for people to kind of connect on a personal level. If you guys are sitting around the break room or something, it's something to pass the time," Heimer said.

Of course, every work culture is different and Chamberlaine cautions employees to check with a manager before starting a group bracket or office pool.

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