WHAT'S THE SCORE? OfficeTeam Survey: Stanley Cup Activities in the Office Get Mixed Reviews

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Are Stanley Cup festivities in the office a score? It depends on whom you ask, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. One in four (25 per cent) managers interviewed felt NHL playoff activities shouldn't be allowed in the workplace. Still, the majority of bosses are willing to get in the game: Fifty-three per cent said group events tied to the tournament are OK in moderation, and another 18 per cent welcome them. Only one in five (20 per cent) employees polled said they are at least sometimes distracted at work by the excitement surrounding major sports competitions.

The surveys of managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from 304 senior executives at companies with 20 or more employees and 1,024 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Managers were asked, "How do you feel about Stanley Cup playoff activities, such as watching games or participating in pools that don't involve money, in the workplace?" Their responses:

They're a welcome diversion........................... 18%
    I don't encourage them, but they're OK in moderation.. 53%
    They shouldn't be allowed at work..................... 25%
    Don't know/no answer..................................  4%
                                                          100%

    Workers were asked, "Overall, how often would you say you are distracted
from your work by major sporting events?" Their responses:

    Every time there is a major event...................... 3%
    Sometimes when there is a major event................. 17%
    Rarely................................................ 32%
    Never................................................. 48%
                                                          100%

Of all respondents, more men (29 per cent) than women (11 per cent) confessed to being at least occasionally distracted on the job by outside sporting events. Thirty per cent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 also admitted to being sidetracked, more than those in other age groups.

"As long as they don't interfere with work, activities tied to sporting events can be great for morale," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "Watching a game together or holding friendly contests provides opportunities for employees to build team spirit."

OfficeTeam offers five tips to help workers keep their heads in the game during the Stanley Cup playoffs:

1.  Don't land in the penalty box. Before checking scores online or
        participating in game-related activities at work, review company
        policies so you know what's acceptable and what's not.
    2.  Take the occasional time out. If your firm allows it, enjoy quick
        breaks to discuss tournament highlights with coworkers, but don't let
        these talks sideline you from other responsibilities. If you're a
        die-hard fan, consider requesting time off to watch the playoffs.
    3.  Set up a game plan. If you want to take a day off to enjoy a sporting
        event, ask your supervisor as far in advance as possible so workloads
        can be managed. There may be many others with the same idea.
    4.  Don't go offside. Review your company's policy and find out ahead of
        time if your employer is OK with decorating your workspaces to
        support your favourite teams.
    5.  Be a good sport. Regardless of team allegiances, show proper
        sportsmanship in the office. Leave your overly competitive streak at
        home.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam is a leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 320 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

For further information: OFFICETEAM, 181 Bay St., Suite 820, Toronto ON M5J 2T3, Contact: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com