Millions will be glued to their television screens Thursday as the madness of March gets underway. Anyone with a NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket filled out, might have a close eye on a game or two. Despite all the excitement, a national survey shows managers aren’t too worried about lost work productivity.
In the calm before the storm inside DJ’s Dugout in downtown Omaha, Rob Utterback and Justin Jensen snagged a fairly quiet lunch; however, that will change when NCAA tournament basketball takes over.
"I'm usually the guy that fills it (bracket) out and all of the sudden in the first round it is all broken and busted, its fun, and it is fun to look at. It's always nice to win,” Jensen said.
Utterback's bracket is pitted against his wife's; for now, it’s a friendly competition. “I don't think anything is on the line as of right now, but maybe if it gets pretty close towards the end, we might wager, put a little wager on it,” Utterback said.
In the end, the duo understands the temptation to put off work to follow a game online or check their bracket but not at the expense of the almighty paycheck. "I just started a new job today, so I have a lot to learn there, I can't afford to be distracted at this point." Utterback said.
"In the past, it is hard not to a little bit; it adds a little bit of fun. If you are serious about your work you don't try to do too much of it, but it is fun to peak at, it breaks up your day a little bit." Jensen said.
Anyone who wants to catch a game over their lunch break and then rush back into work within 30 minutes may need to reassess their plans, at least in DJ’s Dugout. Restaurant managers there say be ready, you might need to plan ahead.
"They will take 2 days off and they will basically camp out at one of their favorite locations and watch basketball, the games start around 11 and get over about 11 at night," Sunni Renner, General Manager at the downtown location said. Renner’s advice, the best way to avoid a drop in work and productivity, all the while keeping an eye on brackets, take a vacation for today and Friday. "It's basically all day basketball, bracket extravaganza,” Runner said.
After games during the second round of the tournament tip off, Renner said it's not uncommon for people to take extended lunch breaks, cutting into work days. "We have an event menu going on and I hope people don't have the expectation of coming in here and watching a game and eating in 30 minutes."
And not that she doesn't welcome the business; however, the NCAA tournament is one the top three busiest seasons during the year. Another is when the Creighton Bluejays play across the street inside the Century Link Center.