March madness workplace games & office pool ideas

March madness workplace games & office pool ideas

Why March Madness Games in the Workplace are Good for Morale

After months of winter, optimism around the office is bound to be a little dwindled. Grey skies, cold winds thrusting tiny icy daggers into our skin, and snow on top of snow (and ice) can really take a toll on anyone’s morale.

Luckily, March Madness games are upon us! It’s a perfect distraction from the gloomy weather, and it gives basketball fans and non-fans alike something to have fun with. And where better to improve mood than the office?

Why Run a March Madness Pool in the Office?

You will find a lot of debate about whether March Madness office pools are a good idea or not. Many studies have shown that US companies have lost money in productivity because of distracted employees streaming games and checking their brackets.

However, according to various studies, it’s believed that workplace games related to March Madness – office pools, viewing parties – help improve employee bonds, and have a ripple effect: better collaboration and engagement, which ultimately leads to better productivity in the long run. The same can be said for any event that coworkers can enjoy together such as the World Cup.

What are some March Madness Workplace Games?

Workplace comradery is right around the corner, but here are some ways you can take the bonding effect of the bracket to the next level:

Viewing Parties: It goes without saying, but setting up viewing parties gets participants more into the spirit of the game and makes the tournament a more engaging and exciting experience. You can enhance it even further with a large HD LED-LCD TV for the break room or whichever location is most convenient in your office!

Extend the Party: Not only can you have a viewing party, but you can even hold an office tailgate party. This can be done in the office as a potluck (with/without the drinks depending on your office policy) or at a local place (ideally during a happy hour). Lucky for you, you can use our office tailgate party ideas to make sure you have everything covered.

Create a Festive Atmosphere: Decorating and setting up the office will help employees get into the spirit. There are many ways to accomplish this including putting up team banners around the walls, setting up after-hour intramural games, or even make the office its own faux basketball court with over the door basketball hoops.

Provide more Prizes: There will be a big gift for the winner, but to keep enthusiasm up during the games, you can offer smaller prizes throughout. For everyone who chooses the right team each game you could give a prize such as a small gift card to a coffee shop or a free “leave work early” card. There can also be prizes set up for the 2nd and 3rd place runner ups after the final tally.

How do you actually Run a March Madness Office Pool?

There is a difference between deciding to run a bracket, planning all the workplace games associated with it, and actually running a bracket – they can be a lot of work if you underestimate them. However, it can be quite simple if you follow some of our ideas we’ve compiled for you and your office:

  1. Send out a company-wide email to encourage participation; more participants means a better pool and less cost per bracket. To inspire more participants, you can even have the company provide an additional bonus prize – an additional PTO day, a gift certificate to Amazon, or perhaps even a company match of the total pool.
  2. Print out a March Madness Bracket for every person who said they will participate; each person will completely fill out the bracket with the team they think will win each game – everyone should also write their estimation for how many points will be scored in the championship game in case there needs to be a tie breaker. It’s important to collect everyone’s bracket before the games begin.
  3. Alternatively, you can run your office tournament online. There are many game portals that you can sign up for (com and CBSSports.com, to name a couple) to create your office league, invite those who want to participate, and then follow through the same process as if it’s printed, but with less trees diminished from the world.
  4. Create a scoring system that assigns a number of points for each round. A simple system gives 1 point for the first round, 2 for the second, and so on – the participant with the most points at the end wins!

There you have it: everything you need to run a successful March Madness Pool in your office. There are many ways you can make this a fun experience that improves office morale, bonds coworkers, and in the long run will make your company more productive. What are some ways you’ve celebrated March Madness in your office? Tell us in the comments!