boosting-company-culture|Photo Courtesy ofDepositphotos.comhttp://depositphotos.com/9280927/stock-photo-Basketball-player-shooting.html?id=9280927 Whether it’s March Madness or the Super Bowl, office pools are a popular tradition. While some businesses worry about lost productivity during such sporting events, a recent blog post on The Washington Post website says they’re missing the point.

Instead, business owners should see these sporting events as a valuable opportunity for interaction and creating connections between employees. These activities are not only known to support morale, but ultimately encourage productivity, rather than hurt it.

Since the office is where employees spend much of their time, it’s important to be mindful of your company culture. Instead of getting too hung up on lost productivity, acknowledge the value of building and developing work relationships. In the long run, your business can benefit from incorporating different social elements and finding ways for people to engage and get to know each other.

One thing March Madness and Super Bowl office pools demonstrate is that you don’t need to spend money to create a positive work environment. The Washington Post blog post suggests three ways companies can embrace popular sporting events and build workplace connections.

  1. Skill swaps: Instead of contributing $10 or so to the office pool, ask employees to donate a skill they’re willing to teach. The winner of the pool receives first pick of the skills, which are posted on a public list. These skills could be anything from a cooking lesson to web design.
  2. Field trip: Encourage employees to watch the March Madness games together on TVs while working on laptops, perhaps in conference rooms, instead watching online streaming video alone at their desks.
  3. Alma mater matches: Employees can sign up to back their alma mater or favorite team and watch bracket games with their alma mater opponents, encouraging the formation of new relationships across departments.

Whether you tailor these ideas to your office or already have your own traditions, events like March Madness and the Super Bowl offer valuable opportunities for creating connections in the workplace.

What’s your company’s general attitude toward such sporting events? Have you used them to help build connections in the office? Let us know!

Source: The Washington Post, March 2013