An Experiment with Social Polling: March Madness and Employee Engagement

This month there has been a lot of talk around whether March Madness in the workplace is demonstrating a form of employee engagement or employee distraction. There is a lot of controversy as to whether March Madness results in a huge loss in employee productivity or as a great workplace morale booster that carries on through the spring. On this past Monday, we set up a quick poll to gauge how many offices in the U.S. are holding March Madness competitions and if employees think it is a form of engagement or distraction in the workplace. The poll ran for 24 hours and was just two questions. Poll respondents were recruited and targeted through social media advertising on Facebook and Twitter. We spent just $50.00 total in advertising and outreach costs and we received 210 poll completions. Continue reading to see some stats about the upsides and downsides of 2014 March Madness tournaments being held in the workplace along with the results from our social poll.

March Madness in the workplace, a morale booster or loss in productivity?

March Madness in the workplace – loss in productivity or morale booster? An OfficeTeam poll earlier this month reported that a third of senios managers believe the March Madness tournament improves morale – up by more than ten percent from a year ago. Only a small amount (7%) of the other senior managers felt negative towards March Madness tournaments in the workplace. 

However, the annual study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. claims that employers lose over 1.2 billion for every unproductive work hour. Their survey also found that 56 percent of workers plan to spend at least one hour of their workday on March Madness activities.

"There are distractions every day at the office, but the first week of the annual men's college basketball tournament is particularly hazardous to workplace productivity," the company's CEO, John Challenger, said in a press release. "While March Madness distractions may not alter the nation's quarterly GDP numbers, you can be assured that department managers and network administrators notice the effect on work output and company-wide internet speeds."  

Our March Madness Poll Results

52% of respondents said their office holds a NCAA March Madness competition
83% think March Madness demonstrates a form of employee engagement

Social Polling Analytics

Dashboard View of Respondents Browsers, Devices, and Operating Systems

  • 70% of responses were from mobile devices
  • 61% of responses were from iPhones
  • 9%  of responses were from Android smartphones
  • 40% of responses came from Twitter ads ($25.00 spent)
  • 56% of responses came from a Facebook boosted post on our company page ($25.00 spent) 
  • 4% of responses came from other referrals from within (free)


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