Skip nav to main content.

Wow!: The Average Worker Spends Six Hours on Sports-Related Activities During The College Basketball Tournament, OfficeTeam Finds

Employees are mad about sporting events like March Madness, suggests a new survey from staffing…

  • March 27, 2018

Employees are mad about sporting events like March Madness, suggests a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

Professionals said they spend an average of 25.5 minutes per day on sports-related activities in the office during the college basketball playoffs.

With the tournament spread across 15 workdays, that’s the equivalent of six hours per employee.

  • Male employees and those ages 18 to 34 spend the most time on tournament-related activities at work (36 minutes and 34 minutes on average a day, respectively), such as talking to colleagues and participating in informal competitions.
  • Nearly half of professionals (46 percent) are big fans of celebrating sporting events like March Madness in the office. Another third (33 percent) aren’t very fond of these activities but still play along. More than one in five respondents (21 percent) would rather focus on work and not celebrate sports.
  • Men (64 percent) and employees ages 18 to 34 (55 percent) most frequently said they love keeping up with sports in the office and bonding with colleagues over them.
  • Checking game scores and team rankings (62 percent) and an increase in sports talk (59 percent) are the most common workplace behaviors around major sporting attractions, according to senior managers.

Why Fight It?

Previous studies by OfficeTeam’s parent, Robert Half, suggest that companies can actually benefit from this March Madness obsession. Robert Half found that nearly one in four senior managers (23 percent) interviewed by the firm’s OfficeTeam business 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).

Still, employees need to be careful.

OfficeTeam offers four questions employees can ask themselves before celebrating sporting events like the college basketball playoffs at work:

  • Is this against company policy? Don’t get in trouble for not following the playbook. Know your organization’s rules on employee breaks, personal Internet use, sports attire and workplace decorations.
  • What’s on my to-do list?Take quick time-outs to check scores or chat about games with colleagues, if allowed. However, don’t fall behind on assignments.
  • Am I overdoing it? It’s fine to root for your favorite team, but no one likes a poor sport. Remember, it’s just a game.
  • Should I take time off?If you want a day off to enjoy the tournament, submit your request early. This gives your boss the opportunity to determine if temporary support should be brought in.

By all means, indulge your passion. Just don’t get fired in the process.

Leave a Comment