Maybe you think March Madness is a distraction, or you’re not that into sports, or you don’t want to fork over any money. Whatever it is, you should just get over it and join your office pool.
Yes, it’s true that U.S. companies lose about $1 billion in productivity during the tournament due to excited employees live-streaming games and constantly checking their brackets — but Dennis Nishi wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article that openly bringing March Madness into the office can actually be “useful on many levels.”
This year, an estimated 50 million Americans are participating in March Madness office pools, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. And the good news is, according to another survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, nearly a third of senior managers believe workplace activities tied to March Madness, such as office pools, have a positive impact on employee morale and productivity.
David Fagiano, COO of Dale Carnegie Training, agrees that March Madness offers a great opportunity for employee engagement and overall team morale. An office pool encourages healthy competition among colleagues, he says. “And as a result, coworkers can form personal bonds that not only boost collaboration but also engagement and productivity in the long run.”
So stop making excuses and join in on the fun. It’ll strengthen your workplace relationships, make the culture more enjoyable, and could actually end up benefiting your company.
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