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Perks of Work: Best to Play Up Team Love During March Madness

March 6, 2020, 10:41 AM

Time for Perks of Work, our weekly recap of intriguing data, surveys, and trends about the 21st century workplace. Check this space every Friday to keep up with the latest water-cooler talk.

A Morale Boosting Slam Dunk

Every year reporters fill the web with horror stories about how much money/paid leave/productivity businesses stand to lose from the marathon game-watching by employees obsessed with March Madness.

Why not turn that fanaticism into a team building opportunity?

Staffing service Robert Half surveyed over 1,000 workers about sports-related activities in the workplace.

Three-quarters of the respondents said management organizes events around mainstream competitions such as March Madness. And 78% of that group said partaking in those festivities improved morale.

“Friendly” competitions pitting office mates against one another got the most votes, 32%. Nearly a quarter of the respondents, 23%, endorsed potluck meals or themed-snack breaks.

Robert Half executive Stephanie Naznitsky urged employers to find win-win situations.

“Giving staff the freedom to watch a game or chat about scores together, for example, can go a long way toward building a more cohesive team and positive workplace culture,” she said in a news release.

Moms Want to Come Out of Closet

Kids, careers, stress: Working mothers have a lot to juggle on any given day.

Scoring a few minutes of privacy while on the job would a game-changer for the most frazzled.

A quarter of respondents told benefits provider New Moms’ Healthy Returns that finding a semi-private place to pump breast milk remains out of reach. Instead, these hard-working women said they’ve retreated to whatever space they could find, including closets, bathrooms, cars, the boss’s office, and “in view of cameras.”

Respondents who reported feeling supported by their employer ticked off a number of much-appreciated accommodations.

Nearly four in 10, 37%, praised employer-sponsored programs, such as lactation consultant services and shipping of breast milk. A third hailed as a lifesaver flexibility in returning to work. And 20% said it makes all the difference to have a dedicated lactation space in the office that’s fully stocked with supplies.

So Fresh and So Clean

Freaking out about coronavirus? The office cleaning crew has got your back.

Facilities management provider Cintas Corp. surveyed 2,000 Americans about the state of workplace restrooms.

Nine in 10 respondents said employers who regularly deep-clean communal lavatories “care more about the health and wellness of their employees” than companies that don’t.

And about eight in 10 said they dig when employers splurge on extras like no-touch dispensers, floor mats, and scented hand soaps.

Because there’s nothing worse than standing in front of the mirror singing “Happy Birthday” (twice) while furiously scrubbing one’s hands with—GASP!—plain soap.

Hungry for more? Send any tips, polls, or story pitches to wrojas@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Rojas in Washington at wrojas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com

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