It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – March Madness.
According to a recent study by Office Team, 32 percent of managers say March Madness activities are not welcomed in the workplace. And while 57 percent are okay with allowing it in moderation, only 11 percent of managers truly welcome the tournament in their offices.
As a Villanova alumnus, last year was magical, and I was lucky to have a boss in that 11 percent, as I celebrated Villanova’s first championship since 1985. I think it’s important to remind everyone that ig电子竞技在线比赛(ig电子竞技即时赛表) President Anne Buchanan went to North Carolina, the team that lost to Villanova in the National Championship . Was it a bad career move to mention that? For the record, she was a very good sport about it!
While I’m admittedly biased about March Madness, it’s a once-a-year event that can increase morale in the office. This USA Today article offers two reasons employers should embrace March Madness (everyone will be paying attention, and it creates a more positive workplace), but I want to add a few more.
It’s a stress reliever. March Madness comes near the end of the first quarter, which often includes the busiest few months of the year. The games are played Thursdays through Saturdays (with the exception of the National Championship, which happens on a Monday night), so it doesn’t take up the full work week. Of course, I’m not suggesting that clients and work be pushed aside so everyone can slack off for a few weeks, but allowing employees to get into the spirit for a couple days over three weeks will give them time to relax a little before gearing up for the second quarter. After working hard to kick-off the year, it’s a nice way to unwind before swinging back into high-gear.
*DISCLAIMER: This strictly applies to work stress, and does not apply to the stress of watching your team in a single-elimination tournament.
It fosters office camaraderie. Almost everyone who follows the tournament will fill out a bracket. This presents an opportunity for employers to create an office tournament. You don’t have to follow the traditional format – you could go through an online challenge or even assign each person a school to root for. The winner doesn’t necessarily need a monetary prize, either. For example, last year for the National Championship, Anne and I made a friendly wager. If North Carolina had won, I would have had to make cheesesteaks for the office, but when Villanova was the victor, Anne made the office Carolina Barbeque. It’s little things like this that all employees enjoy, and can create fun and memorable team bonding experiences.
It builds trust and alleviates lack of productivity. Did you know that distracted employees could cost employers $4 billion this March Madness? Anyone who cares about it, including employees working for the aforementioned 32 percent of managers, will find ways to check scores and their brackets during the day. However, instead of making them feel the need to hide this, employers can incorporate this into the workday. Whether you have an hourly score check or allow employees to watch the final minute of a close game, employers can create perks to allow employees to feel part of the madness, as long as productivity remains high during the rest of the day. Trust between managers and their team should increase as well, as managers shouldn’t feel the need to snoop on their employees, and workers will be trying hard to earn those perks.
March Madness is a once-a-year phenomenon, so instead of fighting to keep it out, let the excitement and team spirit permeate the office. Go Cats!
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