While everyone is gearing up to finalize their brackets for March Madness and college basketball, a recent study performed by Vault indicates that office betting, however shameful or against office protocol and procedures, is commonplace amongst most professional office environments.
In an email which I received last week, numbers were unveiled regarding the amount of people who actually participate in office betting amongst employees. Vault, a career intelligence company, reflects in their 2013 Office Betting Survey, that while betting is frowned upon at work, most employees still indulge in it while being on company time. In the study, 70% admitted that they get their bet on while at work in the office pool, and 81% admitted knowing that at least one of their coworkers bet while at work. A staggering 79% of the respondents believe that it is okay to bet while at work.
As a matter of fact, the study shows that office betting is a way to ease relationships in while at work:
“I think it’s a recreational activity that allows co-workers to engage in something together outside of the main focus on workplace responsibilities and could possibly enhance rapport and workplace morale.” Other statements in favor of office betting included:
· “I see nothing wrong with it. It seems it could be a good bonding experience.”
· “I think it is important that the focus of the bets is never driven by the money itself, because its objective is to give a chance to build good relationships.”
· “I have run office pools, and the impact has always been positive and my efforts always appreciated by my bosses throughout the years.”
· “I made friends and got to meet people from the company that I would never meet otherwise.”
The results show that sports dominate office betting pools. March Madness is the most common focus of workplace wagers, with 69% of survey respondents admitting to filling out an office bracket. However, football is overall the most popular sport to gamble on at work – 60% of employees said they bet on the Super Bowl and 37% also reported participating in pools based on the NFL’s regular weekly games. A co-worker’s pregnancy (17%) was the most common non-sporting event, following by award shows (8%) and TV reality competitions, like “Top Chef” and “American Idol” (4%).
The costs to enter these pools are low – 38% reported that entry fees are $10 or less; 19% said the entry fee hovered between $11 and $25; and another 17% said the price of participation is no more than $5. Only 33% of those surveyed said they have actually won an office betting pool; but those winners aren’t likely to leave their jobs anytime soon, with jackpots reported at $51-100 (22%), $101-200 (15%) and $201-300 (15%).
I am not sure about you, but I must admit that I’ve placed a bet or two at the office during my cubicle chronicles. Both Fantasy Football and NCAA Basketball Brackets were something that I wagered on. We also had pools pertaining to pregnancy due dates of coworkers and other items that were all done within fun. No one took them too seriously.
Looking back on it, I never considered any of this hardcore betting activity at all.
For those of you who work in the office, do you bet with your other coworkers? Is office betting against the rules where you work, or is it a practice people participate in because they know there are no real consequences in terms of management action?
What are your thoughts?
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