March Madness Begins & Productivity Suffers
Or does it?
There are few ways to make a Monday more exciting than receiving the following message from your boss:
“To: Add3 Team
Ok team – tis that time of year again.
Look for the invite to the tournament from Nora!
And so it begins. It’s March Madness. Three days of inter-office trash talk, followed by two days of dismal productivity. Every year we hear the same statistics about how many man-hours are wasted while a 12 seed Cinderella pulls the unthinkable upset and ruins everyone’s brackets. Your hear about how the excitement pulls employees from their desks to the conference room TV, or even further to the tavern down the street.
Brackets = Team Building = Better Productivity
This has to be bad for productivity right? Yet Add3 and many other companies across the US encourage their employees to partake in the bracket contest. Why? Wouldn’t they be better served to disconnect the cable, shred any brackets printed on company paper, and send out a terse e-mail discouraging any participation in this while on the clock?
Add3 Chief Operating Officer Tim Wisner doesn’t think so.
“I think it builds camaraderie and encourages interaction outside of work,” Wisner says. “A little friendly competition strengthens bonds and lightens the mood. We want our employees to look forward to coming to work, and it really helps when you like the people you work with.”
So yes, we’re a bit distracted by the madness. But the heck if we are going to allow reigning fantasy football champ Nora Park to continue her dominance! So we monitor our brackets, talk a bit of trash, and cheer on Harvard because Nora didn’t pick them.
Any productivity that we may lose for a couple days in March is made up for in the closer work relationships that we foster with these friendly competitions. Even one Add3er who chose not to participate in the Madness sees the value.
“I think it’s great that [Add3] encourages March Madness to get some friendly office competition going among the people who are interested in it.” says Account Director Victoria Yeung.
“Culture” Has To Be More Than Words
March Madness is just another part of Add3’s effort to create the best work place culture possible.
“We have really been trying to wrap words around our cultural definition for the past few months, and it’s not easy,” Wisner says. “Culture is an emotional connection that helps bond us all together. How do you describe that with words when it has to incorporate so many things?”
“These contests contribute to Add3’s culture by strengthening the bonds between each person in a way that’s completely unconnected to work”, says Wisner. “They help us build a stronger sense of community and family. I love watching it happen… almost nothing makes me happier.”
So, stop reading this during work hours and get back to watching basketball!