Office pools: Harmless fun or productivity-killing distractions?

March Madness. The Big Dance. Whatever you want to call it, the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament is in full swing. Besides being one of the most popular sporting events of the year, the tournament also spawns office betting pools galore.

In workplaces around the nation employees have filled out brackets, guessed who this year’s Cinderella teams are and even have called in sick and watch games from the comfort of their couches or favorite watering holes?

What’s your company’s policy on office pools? Are they allowed? Are they banned and your boss just looks the other way? Do office pools reduce productivity or do they boost morale?

What about watching tournament games on TV or following them online during work hours?

5 comments Add your comment

Disappointed Husky

March 11th, 2010
11:03 am

Sometimes there isn’t a distinction! Thanks to the poor performance of my Huskies this year, I won’t be distracted by the tournament at all. Ah well.


March 11th, 2010
1:48 pm

At my organization most powerful post is filled by an employee who loves sports pools. This person will, in fact, buy several squares to increase his chances. His ‘modus-operandi’ makes us all chuckle when he loses.


March 11th, 2010
4:42 pm

Not sure what our company’s policy is, but if there is a pool going on, it’s been kept pretty hush-hush. There may be a secret society of NCAA betters, but nobody has invited me. I’m kind of surprised, though, that there aren’t a bunch of reality-TV-show pools… Does an office pool waste company time? Probably, but if it’s not wasted on that, it’s sure to be wasted on something else!


March 11th, 2010
6:04 pm

Office pools are a great way to have some fun when so many other things about work is so bad. Bring on the big dance!


March 15th, 2010
10:21 pm

NCAA tournament brackets are darn good fun. They may even increase productivity by breaking down communication barriers built through endles turf wars and politics. Nothing in the office is more fun than discussing an underdog making their way through the brackets. Unless ofcourse you are the one with all of the top seeds advancing. Providence, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount and UD in ‘84 all come to mind. In to the field of 64 (or 65).