Should You Celebrate March Madness At Work?

Survey: 3 in 5 Managers Say NCAA Basketball Tournament Activities in the Workplace Improve Employee Morale

TORONTO, March 4, 2015 /CNW/ - March Madness and the office may make a winning team, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly three in five (58 per cent) senior managers interviewed said activities tied to the college basketball playoffs boost employee morale, and more than one-third (37 per cent) felt March Madness has a positive impact on workplace productivity.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada. 

Managers were asked, "Do you feel March Madness activities in the workplace, such as watching games or participating in pools that don't involve money, have a positive or negative impact on employee morale?" Their responses*:

Very positive


Somewhat positive


No impact


Somewhat negative


Very negative


Don't know



*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

Managers also were asked, "Do you feel March Madness activities in the workplace have a positive or negative impact on employee productivity?" Their responses:

Very positive


Somewhat positive


No impact


Somewhat negative


Very negative


Don't know




"Employers that encourage staff to enjoy events like March Madness recognize that these activities don't have to be viewed as negative workplace distractions," said 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."

OfficeTeam identifies five mistakes workers should avoid when celebrating March Madness:

  1. Going against the playbook. Before participating in any tournament-related activities, find out your company's policies on employee breaks, accessing the Internet for non-business purposes and decorating workspaces.     
  2. Taking too many time-outs. If your employer is OK with it, take occasional breaks to check scores or talk hoops with colleagues, but make sure to keep up with your assignments. 
  3. Failing to have a game plan. If you want to take time off to watch the playoffs, let your boss know as far in advance as possible so he or she can manage workloads. 
  4. Being a poor sport. It's fine to root for your favorite school, but don't get overly competitive in the office.  
  5. Not being a team player. Even if you aren't a sports fan, try to join in on celebratory activities to bond with coworkers.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog, can be found at Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

Image with caption: "Do March Madness Activities Hurt or Help at Work? (CNW Group/OfficeTeam)". Image available at:

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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