How to Use March Madness to Improve Workplace Culture

How to Use March Madness to Improve Workplace Culture

March 08, 2021

As March Madness grips sports fans around the country, workers throughout all kinds of industries join betting pools, talk about their predictions, and spend hours watching the games. All these distractions can compromise workplace productivity, and in fact, there are numerous speculations about how much March Madness costs businesses. 

However, March Madness does not have to cost you. Instead, you can use this sports fervor to your benefit. Wondering how March Madness can improve your workplace culture? Then, check out these details. 

Reduced Productivity Versus Improved Morale

Most of these numbers take a fairly simplistic look at losses related to March Madness. For example, the idea that business loses an estimated $1.2 billion per hour due to lost productivity just takes into account the number of people who admit to doing March Madness activities on the clock and multiplies that by the average per hour earnings of American workers. 

These numbers do not look at the other potential financial effects of March Madness. For instance, one study shows that 20 percent of employers believe that March Madness can have a positive impact on employee morale. When you boost morale, you increase happiness which ultimately improves productivity and strengthens customer service. Higher morale also improves retention rates, saving you money on recruiting, onboarding, and training costs. To reap these benefits, you may want to integrate March Madness into your workplace culture.

Leaning Into March Madness

Rather than fighting against your employees, consider leaning into March Madness. Encourage your employees to participate. Let them create office pools or even consider hosting watching parties. Employees need a positive work-life balance, and they feel respected when their bosses support this balance. By providing some flexibility during March Madness, you foster loyalty, and ultimately, your employees may stay with the company longer, work harder, and be more reliable. 

Planning Around March Madness

If possible, try to work around March Madness. Don't schedule significant meetings or important deadlines during this week. When you have critical items on the to-do list during the tournament, try to work around games as much as possible. 

Taking this approach will help to prevent your employees from feeling strained, and it will also help to ensure that they are not giving half-hearted attention to important projects due to being distracted by the madness. 

Recognizing the Value of March Madness 

In another poll, 90% of workers indicated that they believe office pools for March Madness help to build camaraderie, and nearly 40% said participating in these activities made them feel closer to their coworkers. 

Business executives lay out countless sums of money paying for team building activities and seminars. March Madness accomplishes many of these same benefits but at a minimal cost to you. When you recognize the value of these activities, you may find that your business reaps financial value rather than losses money. 

As you embrace March Madness in your business's culture, consider consulting with a legal professional about the potential legal implications of company-wide pools and betting in the office.  


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor.

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