Office Camaraderie Main Reason Workers Participate in Office Pools,
According to Latest Spherion Survey
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., February 27, 2008 — With March Madness fever sweeping across workplaces in just a few weeks, companies are left wondering if this frenzy will spread across their cubicle culture and translate into lost dollars. Though money may be the concern of company owners, is it also workers’ main motivation for participating in office pools? Not according to the latest Spherion® Workplace Snapshot survey conducted by Harris Interactive®.
Of the forty-four percent of U.S. workers who have participated in an office pool, 45 percent named office camaraderie as the primary reason for doing so. Another 36 percent named “to win money” as the primary reason for participating, 15 percent said for “love of sports,” and two percent stated “pressure from coworkers.”
The survey also found that three-fourths of U.S. workers who participate in office pools (75 percent) say the most they have spent is less than $20. Seventeen percent have spent $20 to $49 dollars, four percent have spent between $50 and $99, and four percent have spent $100 or more.
While the number of workers who have participated in an office pool declined from 49 percent last year to 44 percent in 2008, more employees claim to have watched or followed sports events on the computer during work hours this year. More than one quarter (26 percent) of workers in 2008 say they have done so, compared to 23 percent in 2007.
When it comes to gender, men are generally more likely to participate in office pools, and have different motivations than their female counterparts. Fifty-one percent of men have participated in an office pool, compared to only 36 percent of females. Furthermore, men are more likely to say they participate “to win money” than females (38 percent vs. 33 percent), whereas female workers are more likely to name “office camaraderie” as their primary reason (53 percent vs. 39 percent). Male employees spend more money on office pools than females also, with 23 percent saying the most they have spent is between $20 and $49 compared to only eight percent of female workers.
Gender differences extend beyond office pools as well. Men are twice as likely as women (11 percent vs. five percent) to have called in sick to watch or attend a sports event, or as a result of watching or attending a sports event, and more likely to have watched or followed sports events on the computer while at work (33 percent vs. 19 percent).
“This year’s survey results are good news for many employers,” said John Heins, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Spherion. “It appears that while some companies fear a negative impact of office pools on worker productivity, they may actually benefit from a positive effect on office camaraderie and employee morale. That being said, employers that fear time wasted should clearly communicate their Internet usage policy throughout the year.”
Other results from the most recent Spherion Workplace Snapshot Survey:
Office Pool Survey results tracked over time
- Forty-four percent of U.S. workers participated in an office pool in 2008, compared to 49 percent in 2007.
- More than one quarter (26 percent) of workers watched or followed sports events on the computer while at work this year, compared to 23 percent in 2007.
- Eight percent of workers have called in sick to watch or attend a sports event, or as a result of watching or attending a sports event in 2008, compared to 9 percent last year.
As income and age increases, so does participation in office pools
- The survey finds that nine percent of workers earning less than $15,000 annually have participated in an office pool, compared to 55 percent of workers earning $75,000+.
- Seventeen percent of workers aged 18 to 24 have participated in an office pool, compared to 54 percent of workers 50 to 64 in age.
Most workers have not called in sick to watch or attend, or as a result of watching or attending, a sports event
- Ninety-two percent of U.S. workers say they have never called in sick to watch or attend, or as a result of watching or attending, a sports event, compared to eight percent who have.
- Workers aged 30 to 39 are most likely to have called in sick to watch or attend a sports event, or as a result of watching or attending, with 13 percent having done so.
- Workers 65 and older are the least likely to have called in sick to watch or attend a sports event, with only one percent having done so.
Watching or following sports events on the computer while at work
- Seventy-four percent of U.S. workers say they have never watched or followed sports events on the computer while at work, compared to 26 percent who have.
- Workers aged 30 to 39 are most likely to have watched or followed sports events on the computer while at work, with 35 percent having done so.
- Workers 65 and older are the least likely to have watched or followed sports events on the computer while at work, with only 15 percent having done so.
The February 2008 Spherion® Workplace Snapshot is based on data from the Harris Interactive® QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 1,450 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a poll conducted February 6-8, 2008. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weightedwhere necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity scoreweighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for more than 60 years, Spherion has sourced, screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs.
With approximately 700 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing more than 300,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America's largest employers. Spherion operates under the following brands: Spherion Staffing Services Group for administrative, clerical and light industrial workers; Technisource for technology professionals and solutions; The Mergis Group for accounting and finance and other professional positions; Todays Staffing for specialty administrative personnel; and Spherion Recruitment Process Outsourcing. To learn more, visit http://www.spherion.com/
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the largest and fastest-growing market research firms in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll®, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls, and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its North American, European and Asian offices, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
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