In The News: March Madness Distracts Workers, Raising Wages May Force You to Reduce Hours

In The News: March Madness Distracts Workers, Raising Wages May Force You to Reduce Hours

Did it feel like everyone in your office this week was a little distracted?

Were you a little distracted?

There’s a reason for that. Monday was the first work day with the new NCAA March Madness bracket. That means workers everywhere — even in virtual offices these days — were really hard at work … picking random college basketball teams to win the big office pool.

That’s right. The most asked question around your office this week was probably: What’s a Wofford?

In new data from Monster this week, we learned that an incredible 31% of employees in American workplaces will spend half their time focused on March Madness. That’s watching games but also all the other hoopla.

If you have any questions about how organized your team is or if they’re working together, watch them put together a tournament pool. Presumably, a legal one, of course.

There were other headlines this week, of course. They’re included in our news roundup below.

Meanwhile, we’re watching VCU. We’ve got them going far.


Increased Minimum Wages Require Hour Cuts to Compensate, Whole Foods Example Shows

Amazon recently began a $15 minimum wage for its employees at Whole Foods, but then the grocery store began cutting workers’ hours, according to the Guardian. The multinational e-commerce company enacted the increased wage in November for all U.S. workers, in response to public pressure and criticism over its pay for employees.

39% of Small Business Hires This Year Will Be Sales and Marketing Staff

The latest report from Clutch says 39% of small businesses will add sales and marketing employees. This data point underscores the importance of sales and marketing in today’s digital commerce. You must optimize websites, social media channels and eCommerce to make it happen. And you need sales and marketing employees to do the heavy lifting.


Survey Reveals 56% of Bloggers Get Better Results by Spending 6 Hours on a Post

Blogs have become one of the most effective ways of communicating with digital technology. And the maturation of the medium has resulted in bloggers spending more time to create high-quality posts which deliver better results. The latest blogger survey from Orbit Media has revealed 56% of bloggers who spend six-plus hours on a blog post get better results.

Retail Trends

Items Most Likely to be Returned to Your eCommerce Business

If you are in the business of selling a product, whether online or a physical store, customers will eventually return some of those items. A new infographic from Website Builder Expert has some interesting insights as to how this part of the retail industry affects the overall business.

Small Business Operations

The Next 4 Things You Should Do to Get your Business Ready for the Summer Slowdown

It’s that time of year again! Spring is around the corner. Following soon afterward that is summer, and summer (for some online businesses) is known for the summer slump. The summer slump is a when you may see a dip in website traffic and sales because people are out on vacation and enjoying the weather.


A Relentless Focus on the Customer Gives San Francisco’s 360 Payments a Winning Edge

Fintech sales can be tough, but Lisa Coyle of 360 Payments has found her stride. The aim of 360 Payments is to change the fabric of the payments industry by partnering with customers to provide honest and streamlined payment solutions. We chatted to Lisa Coyle, Co-CEO of 360 Payments, to find out how her customer-centric approach has helped to drive her success.

5 Life Lessons from “Wise Guy” Guy Kawasaki

In the entrepreneurship world, Guy Kawasaki is considered a motivational icon. There is a lot to learn from his new book which is appropriately named “Wise Guy”.

Technology Trends

Business Travelers Should Seek Rodeway Inn for Best Hotel WiFi, Research Says

The economically-priced hotel chain Rodeway Inn just won the title of the hotel with best WiFi in 2019. Research compiled by Highspeed Internet found Rodeway Inn possesses the fastest free WiFi speeds for guests at 7.66Mbps. This research used data from to calculate average WiFi speeds for each hotel chain.

Only 3% of US Retail Sales Completed Via Mobile Wallet

A new infographic from Expert Market has mapped out mobile wallet usage in 36 countries around the world. In the US, only 3% of retail sales were completed through a mobile wallet. The global penetration rate of this technology is still very low topping at 6%, except for one country. The one outlier in this report is China, which has a staggering 36% of the population using mobile wallet.


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.