How do Canadian Workers Feel About Celebrating Sports at Work?

22 per cent of Canadian professionals love celebrating sports events like March Madness in the office; 33 per cent say otherwise

  • Employees spend an average of 8.5 minutes per workday on activities during the college basketball playoffs
  • An increase in the frequency of sports talk at work is the most common activity

Toronto, ON — Canadian employees are on the fence about sporting events like March Madness, suggests a new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam. 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.

View an infographic with the full survey data, along with a breakdown in age and gender tables.

Additional findings:

  • 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.

“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 Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “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.”

OfficeTeam offers four questions employees can ask themselves 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.

About the Research

The surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 1,000 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments, and more than 300 senior managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit roberthalf.ca/officeteam. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam blog at roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog for career and management advice.