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

72 Percent Of Managers Say College Basketball Playoff Activities Improve Employee Morale
- Executives also find tournament-related celebrations boost productivity
- 75 percent of employers organize festivities for sporting events like March Madness; friendly competitions and wearing team apparel are the most common
- Companies in Des Moines, Austin, Chicago and Indianapolis are the biggest sports celebrators, while firms in Boston, San Francisco and Pittsburgh are most likely to pass
- Demographic data show men and younger professionals are most distracted by games

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Are sports-related celebrations in the office a win for workers and employers? In new research from global staffing firm Robert Half, 72 percent of senior managers said college basketball tournament activities have a positive impact on staff morale. More than half of survey respondents (52 percent) also see productivity benefits.

A new Robert Half survey finds a majority of senior managers think college basketball tournament activities improve employee morale and productivity. View this infographic for the research findings:

Many employers are ready to play ball: 75 percent of companies organize sports-related festivities. Friendly competitions (45 percent) and wearing team apparel (43 percent) top the list of activities offered.

View infographics of how companies view college basketball playoff activities at work and employees most distracted by major sporting events.

"Many companies recognize it's impractical to try to downplay the office buzz around major sporting events like March Madness," said Stephanie Naznitsky, executive director of OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half. "Organizing activities tied to sports can provide welcome distractions that help lift workers' spirits and engagement."

Naznitsky added, "Employees just need to remember to play by the rules. Make sure completing assignments remains the top priority by staying within company guidelines and celebrating in moderation."

Additional findings:

  • Among the 28 U.S. cities in the survey, managers in Des Moines, Indianapolis (83 percent each) and Raleigh (82 percent) see the biggest morale boosts from college basketball playoff activities.
  • Miami (65 percent), Los Angeles (64 percent) and Detroit (60 percent) have the largest number of executives who said tournament festivities improve productivity.
  • Companies in Des Moines (86 percent), Austin, Chicago and Indianapolis (84 percent each) most commonly organize activities to celebrate events like March Madness.
  • Forty-nine percent of employees said they are distracted at work by sports, up from 38 percent in 2016.
  • More male professionals (64 percent) admitted to being sidetracked than women (33 percent). Employees ages 18 to 34 (66 percent) reported being distracted the most, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (43 percent) and 55 and older (27 percent).

About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 2,800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in 28 major U.S. cities and more than 1,000 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in the U.S.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers job search services at For additional career and management advice, visit the Robert Half blog at


Robert Half (PRNewsfoto/Robert Half)

SOURCE Robert Half

For further information: Jenn Popovic, (650) 234-6033,