The findings suggest that filling out brackets can lead to several positive outcomes at the office, particularly when it comes to Gen Z and Gen X.

Writer: Carly Terwilliger

A new survey finds March basketball brackets and office pools can improve key workplace initiatives, including employee engagement, camaraderie and work satisfaction. The study by Randstad US found nearly 9 in 10 workers (89 percent) agree office pools help build better team camaraderie and 58 percent completely or strongly agree. The findings also point to other positive outcomes, particularly when it comes to Gen Z and Gen X.

  • 84 percent of workers agree office pools go a long way to make their jobs more enjoyable (91 percent of Gen Z; 88 percent of Gen X).
  • 79 percent of employees agree participating in office pools greatly improves their levels of engagement at work (85 percent of Gen Z; 84 percent of Gen X).
  • 73 percent of workers agree they look forward to going to work more when they participate in office pools (82 percent of Gen Z and Gen X).
  • 50 percent of employees meet up with coworkers after work to watch a college basketball game in March (58 percent of Gen Z; 53 percent of Gen X).
  • 39 percent became closer with a coworker after participating in an office pool (58 percent Gen Z; 41 percent Gen X).

When it comes to the impact on worker productivity, the study found 76 percent of employees checked scores during work hours and 53 percent watched or followed sporting events on their computers while at work.

“While many employers fear a loss of productivity due to the distraction of office pools during the college basketball tournament season, our findings suggest the potential short-term distraction in the office may actually be a win for employee morale, engagement and satisfaction in the long-term,” said Jim Link, chief human resource officer at Randstad North America. “Given the heightened competition for talent and the need for organizations to improve employee engagement and collaboration, our study indicates the significance of socially connecting with peers to foster deeper connections and boost employee morale.”

The Randstad survey found the motivation for participation is not the potential to make money. The study found 83 percent of workers who have participated in a college basketball pool said their love of sports is the main reason they participate. Comparatively, 75 percent said their main reason is to win money.

Other findings from the study include:

  • 41 percent of workers say they have participated in college basketball brackets in their offices
  • More men than women participate in college basketball brackets in their offices (53 percent of men; 29 percent of women).
  • The average amount of money contributed to an office pool by employees is $22.44.
  • 81 percent of workers who chose not to work the day after watching a March college basketball game called in sick.

Photo courtesy NCAA