The Pros and Cons of March Madness in the Office

By Dennis McCafferty
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    National Pastime

    National Pastime

    30% of Americans surveyed plan to participate in March Madness bracket pools with their co-workers this year.

It happens every spring: Literally millions of workers go online to fill out NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament bracket selection sheets in order to take part in a March Madness office pool. There are mixed sentiments about these activities from a workplace perspective. Far more U.S. managers feel that March Madness has a positive impact on morale than those who feel the impact is negative, according to a recent survey from OfficeTeam. However, companies lose literally hundreds of millions of dollars due to the distractions of the tournament, as many workers will watch the games during office hours, and some will even call in sick to follow the action, according to additional research from Challenger, Gray & Christmas and RetailMeNot. To help keep a proper balance, OfficeTeam has come up with a number of best practices for professionals to ensure an enjoyable—but not disruptive—tourney experience. "These activities don't have to be viewed as negative workplace distractions," says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Organizing friendly contests or watching big games together can give employees much-needed breaks and opportunities to build camaraderie."

This article was originally published on 2015-03-18
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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