Start Dancing: The Business Benefits of March Madness

“Giving people a little more than they expect is a good way to get back a lot more than you’d expect,” said Robert Half, our company’s founder. If you’re trying to find a way to help your accounting and finance staff and let them think about something other than financial regulations, tax season or their myriad other responsibilities, look no further than March 16, when Selection Sunday kicks off the NCAA tournament season.

Recent research from our OfficeTeam division confirms the benefits March Madness can deliver for businesses. Nearly one-third, 32 percent, of senior managers interviewed said activities revolving around the Big Dance can improve morale, and 27 percent felt they led to improved productivity. Not only are these numbers up from a similar survey last year, they also tower over the number of respondents who felt tournament-related celebrations harm esprit de corps and productivity.

A team lunch at a restaurant showing the games or meeting up after work to watch a big match-up can build camaraderie and give people the break they need to stay fresh throughout the week. And some friendly inter-office competition can be healthy, too.

As an added benefit, accounting and finance professionals can use their big data expertise to gain an edge when filling out their brackets. I am not advocating for office pools where money exchanges hands, which are illegal. But whether the prize is a small gift certificate or personal pride, it’s all about winning this time of year.

For the full survey results, check out OfficeTeam’s research.

What does your company or team do to participate in March Madness? How have you ensured the activities remain positive and aren’t distracting?