March Madness: How to Curb Productivity Loss Into A Slam Dunk

July 21, 2016

Every year the big tournament garners attention from around the country, with an estimated 60 million Americans filling out brackets. If only that excitement was contained to off-work hours. However, the NCAA craze has a reputation for expected productivity loss, with 1.9 billion estimated lost wages paid to unproductive workers last year.

When you’re building a collaborative and flexible office culture, nobody wants to be the grinch that bans the basketball buzz. So how do you let your office in on the fun while honing productivity?

Hold an office bracket pool:
Let employees openly partake in the excitement at work. Successful companies establish a creative, competitive and collaborative work culture. An office pool is a great opportunity to promote all three characteristics. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management, about 70% of HR professionals agree that office pools are a positive relationship building tool, 64% say it’s a good team building activity, and 54% suggest pools might even increase productivity in the workplace. If your legal team is concerned, you can tell them to relax. The likelihood of anyone being arrested for participating in an office pool is very slim. You can entice participation by offering a Friday off work instead of cash— and of course, bragging rights.

Designate a viewing area:
Be proactive. Setting the right tone can strike a balance between an outright ban and a binge of a dozen games in the first days of the tournament. Set up a spare conference room where employees can pop in to watch the daytime games during their lunch or break time. Think of all the bandwidth you’ll save by not having every employee live stream games at his or her desk.

Plan a party for a championship game: 
The final games are some of the most exciting, and also a great opportunity to bring the company together for team bonding. Host an outing at a sports bar or transform your office with a projector and stream the game.

If you’re genuinely concerned about the potential productivity loss of introducing March Madness into the fabric of work, prioritize goals. Send a memo, bring it up at the next meeting, communicate with your internal teams. Clarify the specific projects and goals that are top priorities for the weeks of madness ahead.

At BlueJeans, we welcome opportunities to come together and collaborate outside the day-to-day routine. We also love all things live.

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