How March Madness Affects You At Work

by Megan Broussard

Do March Madness festivities help or hurt at work? That’s the question OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled office and administrative professionals, sought to find out. According to their new survey, 50 percent of senior managers said activities tied to the college basketball playoffs boost employee morale.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Hmmm... I don’t know about that." Well go ahead and whip out your bracket, because it's true. In fact, the study also showed that more than one-third (36 percent) of managers felt March Madness has a positive impact on worker productivity, as well. Overall, the percentage of managers who said tournament festivities have a positive effect on employee morale and productivity have both increased at least 20 percent since 2013.

So, even if basketball isn’t exactly your thing, all the March Madness pools your coworkers are buzzing about actually have a positive impact on your attitude and performance. Nice.

"It provides an opportunity for workers to bond as they talk about scores and root for their favorite schools, and might actually keep workers on track by providing them with much-needed breaks," Kelly Workman, vice president of OfficeTeam, tells Bustle. "Even if you aren’t a sports fan or rooting for a particular basketball team, participating in office March Madness activities can be a nice stress-reliever, and research shows employees still get their work done."

Workman recommends reviewing your company's policies before participating in certain tournament-related activities, especially when it comes to betting in order to avoid any serious trouble with HR. She also warns that showing your overly competitive side can take a wrong turn quickly, especially if you're someone who has a hard time losing.

"You can cheer for your favorite team, but don’t be a poor sport," Workman says.

Which makes sense, of course. I mean, you don't want to yell at a coworker over something non-related to work do you?