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March brackets may boost office morale, but consider how to minimize distractions

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March Madness is upon us and you may have noticed the bustle around your office involving which teams made the tournament, filling out brackets and what time the games start.

While you may dread this time of year as a manager, you should know that a recent survey by OfficeTeam shows that this annual event may not be as detrimental to office productivity as we have traditionally thought.  The survey of 1,000 managers and 400 workers employed in office environments found that eleven percent of the managers said they find March Madness activities to be a welcome diversion stating that it can increase teamwork and boost morale.

Fifty-seven percent of the managers admitted that while they do not encourage March Madness activities in the workplace, they find said activities to be okay in moderation. The survey also found that only 1-in-5 employees are distracted at work by the inherent excitement that forms from watching major sports competitions.

While this is good news for employers, there can still be legal and human resources related issues surrounding the activities of the tournament.  Consider the following tips to help you capitalize on team building and minimize distractions:

  • Establish an office pool with no entry fee; this sends a clear message that the company does not encourage employee gambling but still allows them to participate in the fun.
  • Place a television or computer with Internet access in the lunch room to allow workers to catch up on scores during break times rather than at their desks.
  • Make sure your Internet-use policy is up-to-date; if your policy states that Internet access is for work-related purposes only, it may not hurt to remind employees of the policy before the tournament begins.
  • Offer a casual dress day in the office where employees are encouraged to wear T-shirts and sweatshirts to show the support of their favorite team.

Do you need help developing an Internet-use policy or are you looking for someone to handle your Human Resources questions and needs? Call BCN Services  at 1-800-891-9911 or contact us here.



Alicia Jester, Manager-Benefits and Payroll