Do You Talk Sports at Work?

Published February 27, 2018 at 6:20 pm


March Madness.

MLB spring training.

The NBA Playoffs.

Oh yeah, and hockey.

Are there always office pools and friendly wagers at your office, or do executives bond with entry-level associates over the wild card spots?

It turns out Canadian employees are on the fence about sporting events a new survey from OfficeTeam suggests.

Nearly half of professionals (45 per cent) said they’re not really into sport-related activities in the office, but are willing to play along, while a third (33 per cent) said they would rather not celebrate at all.

Less than a quarter (22 per cent) said they love being able to keep up with sports at work.

“Engaging with sport-related activities at work can be a great way to support office camaraderie, but it’s important that managers recognize not everyone is a sports fan,” said OfficeTeam district president Koula Vasilopoulos.

“Look for ways to involve the entire team, using staff feedback to organize friendly competitions, themed lunches, or designating areas to talk sports. Encouraging employees to choose how they participate ensures everyone benefits from the opportunity to take a refreshing break and bond with colleagues.”

An increase in the frequency of sports talk at work is the most common activity, according to the findings..

Employees spend an average of 8.5 minutes per workday on activities during the college basketball playoffs, the poll finds, and 22 per cent of Canadian professionals love celebrating sports events such as March Madness in the office — but 33 per cent say otherwise.

Male employees and those ages 18 to 34 spend the most time on tournament-related activities at work (13 minutes and 12 minutes on average a day, respectively), such as talking to colleagues and participating in informal competitions.

Men (32 per cent) and employees ages 18 to 34 (27 per cent) most frequently said they love keeping up with sports in the office and bonding with colleagues over them.

An increase in sports talk (50 per cent) and checking game scores and team rankings (29 per cent) are the most common workplace behaviours around major sporting attractions, according to senior managers.

Graphic courtesy of OfficeTeam

Here are four questions employees can ask before celebrating sporting events at work:

1. Is this against company policy? Don’t get in trouble for not following the playbook. Know your organization’s rules on employee breaks, personal internet use, sports attire and workplace decorations.

2. What’s on my to-do list? Take quick time-outs to check scores or chat about games with colleagues, if allowed. However, don’t fall behind on assignments.

3. Am I overdoing it? It’s fine to root for your favourite team, but no one likes a poor sport. Remember, it’s just a game.

4. Should I take time off? If you want a day off to enjoy the tournament, submit your request early. This gives your boss the opportunity to determine if temporary support should be brought in.

(Source: OfficeTeam)

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