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18 Percent of Workers Overtaken by March Madness

office poolsHappy St. Patrick’s Day! I imagine a great majority of you spent the weekend celebrating responsibly(?) with green beer… Perhaps some of you were (like Amy Chulik and myself) at the SXSW Interactive conference (stay tuned for details!) …Still, others were likely strategically preparing for another early spring classic: March Madness.

Speaking of which…Today, CareerBuilder released its survey on workers who participate in March Madness office pools.  According to the survey of nearly 8,000 workers nationwide, 18 percent of workers said they have participated in March Madness pools at the office, while others have participated in slightly less traditional workplace bets – placing money on co-workers’ cholesterol numbers, who would be named Pope, and who could win a burrito-eating contest, to name a few.

Personally, I think it’s a good sign to see these kinds of office pools go on.  For one thing, a little friendly competition in the office can be a good morale booster, and isn’t that what we all really need right now anyway?

When Vault.com did its recent Office Betting Pools Survey, it found that 72 percent of office workers who participated in workplace bets did so to have a little harmless fun at work (in fact, only a mere 17 percent voiced the desire to win money as their sole reason for participating).

Of course, I can appreciate the argument for not allowing employees to participate in March Madness pools – namely, that it distracts employees from doing work and that allowing gambling in the office could be a liability.

But it would seem that management has enough to worry about without trying to monitor office pools – which tend to be difficult to enforce anyway (especially now that the fake Boss Button has returned) – and that the morale boosting effects more than make up for any supposed lost production that result from participating in these challenges.  Am I wrong?

Even Chicago-based consultancy Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc., who in 1997 estimated that $3.8 billion was lost in worker productivity, is encouraging workers to embrace March Madness this year.

So what’s your stance?  Do you have office pools at your office – March Madness or otherwise? If so, what has been your experience?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
2 comments
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

They certainly are very good questions which an interviewer needs to be prepared to answer. If I were applying for the job, I would add one more to the list. "Is your company prepared for the end of the recession?" So often companies are well into an economic cycle before they shift gears. Why wait? A smart onwer or manager should know that the economy goes through cyles. We may not know when the change will occur, but we do that that it will happen.

Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions
Ron Meledandri - Sentra Business Solutions

They certainly are very good questions which an interviewer needs to be prepared to answer. If I were applying for the job, I would add one more to the list. "Is your company prepared for the end of the recession?" So often companies are well into an economic cycle before they shift gears. Why wait? A smart onwer or manager should know that the economy goes through cyles. We may not know when the change will occur, but we do that that it will happen.

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