3>> the ncaa basketball tournment is here and that means many employees across the country are prepping their brackets with their favorite picks. but does the fun come at a cost? news 18's dakota simon spoke with and expert and community members on the impact march madness has on productivity in the workplace. dakota? >> alexis, according to the american gaming association ... nearly 24 million americans will fill out brackets this year.. i've filled out two of these already... it's an enjoyable thing to do .. but with all the time spent on completing brackets .. comes a financial hit in the workplace. #@nat pop dakota simon >> when you think of march <nat pop> dakota >> you think of madness. but that madness goes beyond basketball. connor >> "a pretty big distraction for the entirety of march." dakota >> a pretty big distraction that effects purdue university faculty including management professor ellen kossek. <nat pop> ellen >> "sometimes ............... not be a basketball fan."dakota >> according to a 20-17 report by outplacement firm challenger, gray and christmas inc. ... nearly 24 million americans will fill out brackets this year ... <nat pop>and as a result .. 2.1 billion dollars lost in productivity. connor:"you got a lot of sports fans out there that are just recently graduated from college or they're very loyal to their alma mater and they're definitely going to watching that like a hawk and productivity is definitely going to go down.
" dakota >> but kossek says there are positives to the madness. ellen >> "so you can either ignore it or you have to manage it. i think you have to be creative about this." dakota>>while kossek is taking creative measures, other take old fashioned route. beth:" just keep working we just keep plugging away talking to students helping them out with whatever they need." dakota>>regardless of the impact march madness has on employers.. they are making the most of it. @#>> kossek says if companies want to take the next step they can take positive themes from the tournament and apply them to their daily work lives. dakota simon, news 18.