Caution: Pool Area
| Company Time|
Most companies tend to look the other way as long as the pools don't disrupt their employees' work habits. "We do allow it," said a spokesman from Boeing, "as long as it doesn't interfere with their ability to be productive." Many feel that pools actually foster company camaraderie by providing a common interest and topic of discussion for employees that ordinarily wouldn't interact.
Some companies, however, take a tougher approach. In December 1997, Fidelity fired nine employees and disciplined 16 others for betting and participating in sports pools. After conducting routine e-mail and Internet checks, management discovered the employees were receiving betting tips. "Gambling on company time is a violation of company policy and the employees were fully aware of that," explained company spokesman Ann Crowley.