March Madness starts next week, and a survey from OfficeTeam finds professionals say 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, OfficeTeam notes.
Men (64%) and employees ages 18 to 34 (55%) are more likely to say they love keeping up with sports in the office and bonding with colleagues over them. Checking game scores and team rankings (62%) and an increase in sports talk (59%) are the most common workplace behaviors around major sporting attractions, according to senior managers.
Nearly half of professionals (46%) are big fans of celebrating sporting events like March Madness in the office, while one-third aren’t very fond of these activities but still play along. More than one in five respondents (21%) would rather focus on work and not celebrate sports.
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.
“While employers may worry about events like March Madness being a distraction in the office, allowing workers to enjoy sports-related activities for even a few minutes can be time well spent,” says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Staff will appreciate the opportunity to bond with colleagues and return to their desks rejuvenated.”