Does "March Madness" Improve Employee Morale?


During the NCAA basketball tournament, companies that allow employees to celebrate March Madness at work may emerge as the real winners, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of senior managers interviewed said activities tied to the college basketball playoffs boost employee morale, and more than one-quarter (27 percent) felt March Madness has a positive impact on worker productivity. These results are up from 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively, in a similar survey conducted in 2013.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

Managers were asked, “Do you feel March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament) activities in the workplace, such as watching games or participating in pools that don’t involve money, have a positive or negative impact on employee morale?” Their responses:

Very positive 11%
Somewhat positive 21%
No impact 62%
Somewhat negative 5%
Very negative 2%

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Managers also were asked, “Do you feel March Madness activities in the workplace have a positive or negative impact on employee productivity?” Their responses:

Very positive 4%
Somewhat positive 23%
No impact 62%
Somewhat negative 7%
Very negative 4%

View an infographic of the research results on how March Madness activities impact employee morale and productivity.

“Many companies acknowledge the appeal of sporting events like March Madness and organize friendly contests or invite workers to watch games together,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Group activities like this can boost employee morale as workers have fun discussing game scores or their favorite schools.”

OfficeTeam offers three tips to help workers caught up in March Madness also stay caught up with work:

  1. Don’t make a rookie mistake. Before participating in playoff-related activities in the office, make sure you’re not running afoul of company policies. Find out what’s acceptable and what’s not regarding issues such as breaks, personal Internet use and workspace decorations.
  2. Watch the clock. If your employer allows it, take quick breaks to chat with coworkers about tournament updates, but don’t let conversations distract you from your job. If you’re a March Madness fanatic, consider requesting time off to watch the playoffs.
  3. Check the playbook. Interested in taking a day off to enjoy the game? Discuss it with your boss in advance. This allows your manager to keep things on track by reassigning projects or bringing in temporary professionals, if necessary.

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 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog (, can be found at

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.