Surprise: NCAA tourney may help office productivity
Shared interest in March Madness can help build office camaraderie
March 16, 2017
The men’s NCAA tourney has long been seen as the enemy of office managers everywhere, sucking away workers’ attention and sparking mysterious “illnesses” that allow employees to stay home and watch the games.
But it turns out March Madness may have gotten a bum rap at the office.
While it’s long been portrayed as a productivity sucker, studies that have come out over the past two years suggest the opposite.
In fact, the tournament may actually help office production and morale.
The first study, conducted last month by Research Now for human resources company Randstad North America, found that 75 percent of workers say they’re more excited to go to work if they participate in an office March Madness pool.
Of those, half say they watch some of the games, and three-quarters say they check on scores.
But that may not be a bad thing for bosses.
A separate study, done in 2015 by Britain’s Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, found that happy workers show 12 percent more productivity than their unhappy counterparts.
So if you have an office pool that people get excited about, you’re keeping your workers happy and more productive, even if they are sneaking the occasional glance at ESPN.com’s March Madness updates.
NCAA tourney as camaraderie builder
Office pools could even help with team building. The Research Now study found 39 percent of workers said they got closer to at least one colleague based on shared passion over their office March Madness pool.
And half report getting together after work with co-workers to watch a game, helping to build office rapport.
The bottom line? Rather than banning March Madness updates or eschewing office pools, agencies may be better off by embracing the tournament and keeping workers happy.
After all, it only lasts a couple weeks.
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