Skip to main content

Press Releases

New Release Paragraph

Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of senior managers and workers, and company announcements.

Game On! Celebrating The College Basketball Tournament At Work
Nearly One in Four Companies Organize Activities Tied to Sporting Events; Top Benefit Is Mixing Work and Play

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- For some companies, celebrating the college basketball playoffs with coworkers is a slam dunk. Nearly one in four senior managers (23 percent) interviewed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said their employer organizes activities tied to sporting events like March Madness. Among those whose firms do get into the games, the top benefit is showing the company supports a healthy blend of work and play (39 percent), followed by building camaraderie among colleagues (37 percent).

Even professionals whose organizations aren't willing to play ball may not be stuck on the sidelines: More than half of employees (53 percent) reported celebrating sports events with office buddies.

View an infographic of the survey findings.

"Many companies are capitalizing on major sporting and cultural events to bring teams together and have more fun at work," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "Embracing the basketball tournament by holding friendly competitions or watching games as a group can boost morale and engagement. Just remember to set guidelines so business priorities are still met."

Additional findings:

  • One-third (33 percent) of employees said they would most like to enjoy sports events like March Madness at work by watching games with colleagues.
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of workers believe celebrating sporting events in the office can boost employee happiness.
  • Being a poor sport or overly competitive (30 percent) was identified as the most distracting or annoying coworker behavior during a tournament or sports season. Spending too much time talking sports (26 percent) came in second.
  • Only 11 percent of employees feel they're less productive at work the day after a big game. Two-thirds (67 percent) said sporting events have no impact on their performance.  

OfficeTeam highlights four types of coworkers you might encounter during the college basketball playoffs and tips for dealing with them:

  1. The Rookie doesn't follow the playbook regarding employee breaks and internet use during the tournament. On game day, this person arrives with a jersey, face paint and giant foam finger in tow.  
    Advice: Encourage him or her to read up on company policies to find out what activities are acceptable. 
  2. The Commentator spends more time talking sports than completing assignments.
    Advice: Take quick breaks to chat about tournament highlights with this colleague, if allowed, but don't let your work suffer. If you're the boss and he or she wants to take time off to enjoy the playoffs, mention it'd be helpful to know as far in advance as possible so you can reassign projects or bring in temporary professionals.  
  3. The Poor Sport takes competition too far, throwing jabs at anyone who doesn't root for his or her favorite college.   
    Advice: Remind this coworker it's just a game. Don't let friendly banter get out of hand, regardless of team allegiances.
  4. The Benchwarmer doesn't know a thing about "The Big Dance" or "bracket busters." This spoilsport passes on all the hoopla.   
    Advice: If colleagues are celebrating by watching games together or having an informal contest, invite this person to join. Make it easy for non-sports fans to participate and have fun.

About the Research
The surveys of senior managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 300 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at for career and management advice.



SOURCE OfficeTeam

For further information: Cynthia Kong, (650) 234-6298,