Fun Ways to Incorporate March Madness Into the Workplace
Here they come – countless articles filled with statistical facts that “March Madness” kills productivity. Of course, productivity matters and it is important for employees to remain functional over the next three weeks. But, let’s face it – it’s highly likely that employees will show up at their jobs only to dedicate lots of time and attention to the tournament. Knowing this, should employers worry about how unproductive their personnel will be or should they find a way to embrace it? I say embrace the tournament and make being at work – entertaining!
Here are some fun ways to incorporate “March Madness” into the workplace:
Make A Policy: First thing, you must set some boundaries. All businesses should have a clearly defined policy that provides practical examples of acceptable workplace activities, particularly the use of the organization’s electronic communications systems. This should specifically address live streaming at work.
Set Up A Watch Zone. If you don’t want your employees draining your bandwidth or traipsing off for a 2-hour lunch, create a watch zone. Rent a big screen TV and set up in the cafeteria or break room. Provide popcorn and refreshments. Make it ok for the employees to take breaks to catch some of the games.
Keep Focus. It’s possible to have fun and remain focused on the tasks that must be completed but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try and over indulge in the fun you have provided. If you find that employees are losing focus because of March Madness, their manager needs to say something. Employees should still be required to work.
Free Office Pool. Consider organizing a free office pool. After confirming there are no legal or policy issues, a free no-ante office pool would be an exciting way to get all employees involved. You could offer up the use of a premier parking spot, reward the winner with a gift certificate to a local restaurant or gym. You could even buy the winner a new standing desk or ergonomic office chair for their workspace.
Team Building. Take advantage of the team building potential of “March Madness”. Some ideas include hosting a casual day in which employees can wear their team colors or create employee teams based on conference or university affiliations. Let them show their team spirit with office cubicle decorations.
Companies that participate in “March Madness” will score big benefits that come along with the tournament. It just takes a little planning and communication so employees know where to draw the line. Quashing or banning it sends a message that the workplace is no place to have a little fun, which is no way to make people productive. Be creative with the tournament and you’ll boost morale and create a better work environment. In the end, finding ways to embrace the tournament is ultimately easier than finding a wining bracket.