Rejoice, March Madness Lovers: Most Employers Don’t Have Policies on Office Pools at Work


February 11, 2014

The month of March means two things to college sports enthusiasts: NCAA basketball and, of course, filling out those tournament brackets.

March Madness fanatics will likely invest work time keeping tabs on their brackets; however, according to a recent poll from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), most employers (81 percent) do not have policies regulating office pools. That compares to 67 percent of employers in 2010. The survey polled 355 HR professionals from a randomly selected sample of SHRM’s membership.

Office Pools Highlights:

  • (Almost) Everyone plays: The NCAA college basketball tournament was among the top events for which organizations reported having office pools in 2013 (36 percent)
  • Stamp of approval: HR professionals even see office pools as having a positive impact on their workplaces. More than two-thirds (70 percent) noted a positive impact on relationship building, 64 percent mentioned promoting team building, and 54 percent said they increase employee engagement.
  • Crime and punishment: Most policies that address office pools include “prohibition of gambling that includes monetary exchange in the workplace” (70 percent), “disciplinary action (not including termination for failure to comply with policy” (69 percent), and “prohibition of any form of gambling, including office pools” (66 percent).

The full survey is available online at:

To read the press release, please visit:

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Vanessa Gray of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6072 or


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