OfficeTeam Survey: March Madness Activities at Work Get Mixed Reviews

Mar 03, 2011, 08:00 ET from OfficeTeam

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Are March Madness festivities in the office a slam dunk? It depends on whom you ask, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of managers interviewed felt NCAA basketball tournament activities shouldn't be allowed in the workplace. Still, the majority of bosses are willing to play ball: Fifty-seven percent said group events tied to the playoffs are OK in moderation, and another 11 percent welcome them. Only one in five (20 percent) employees polled said they are 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 an independent research firm and include responses from 1,013 senior executives at companies with 20 or more employees and 437 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.  

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

They're a welcome diversion


I don't encourage them, but they're OK in moderation


They shouldn't be allowed at work



Workers were asked, "Are you ever distracted from your work by major sporting events?" Their responses:






Of all respondents, more men (36 percent) than women (6 percent) confessed to being distracted on the job by outside sporting events. Thirty-four percent of professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 also admitted to being sidetracked, more than those in other age groups. (A full breakdown of results by gender and age can be found at

"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 March Madness:

  1. Don't get benched. 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 step out of bounds. Review your company's policy and find out ahead of time if your employer is OK with decorating your workspaces to support your favorite colleges.  
  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 the nation's 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  

SOURCE OfficeTeam