March Madness has officially begun, but of course, you already know that because your employees haven’t stopped talking about it since coming into the office the Monday after Selection Sunday. Don’t expect their enthusiasm to wear off anytime soon, because if anything, they’re only going to get more excited leading up to the championship game on April 4.
There’s a very good chance your staff has an in-office March Madness pool and if they don’t, you can pretty much guarantee more than a few of your employees have brackets they’re watching like hawks. It’s great that your team has something they’re so passionate about, but if it starts to get in the way of work, you’ll be forced to intervene. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative ways to find a middle ground, so everyone is happy.
3 Ways to Maintain Order During March Madness
Use these three tips to ensure constant March Madness chatter doesn’t cause a dip in your production levels.
Designate Times to Talk Basketball
Banning people from talking about March Madness at the office isn’t a realistic solution. Accept the fact that you employ a group of sports fans and find a compromise that works for everyone. For example, ask your team to push basketball chatter aside until lunchtime, then encourage everyone to bring their brackets to the break room to discuss.
Reward Increased Productivity
Motivate your team to work really hard throughout the week by allowing them to leave a little early on Fridays to watch the games — if they reach certain goals. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised at the amount of effort people will exert in exchange for the ability to jumpstart their weekend basketball watching.
Block Sports Sites
If all else fails, consider blocking all tournament-related sites from your company network. Sure, they can still gain access from their smartphones, but making it less convenient will lower usage. This also sends a very strong message that you’re serious about not putting March Madness before their jobs.
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