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Workplace productivity lost to fantasy football “more probable than not” deflated… and that’s OK

August 26, 2015


It’s the time of year when I would get an invitation from “AndrewRavens1245” (not his real screenname) to join his fantasy football league. I never did and probably never will. Not my thing, but it is for 37.5M people in the US, and according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., “the cost of this workplace distraction could approach $16 billion in lost wages paid to workers managing their teams during business hours.”

Wow. $16B is a lot of quid, but I believe it’s “more probable than not” that the number is shy a few dollars PSI, and here’s why:

The study assumes fantasy football workers spend just one hour per week managing their teams. Thanks to Jonathan Brill over at, I now know a little bit more about what’s involved:

  • (10 mins) Setting your lineup for the current week based on match-ups
  • (10 mins) Dropping/Adding players based on injury, breakout free agents, etc
  • (15 mins) Sending taunting emails to last week and next week’s opponents (my favorite)
  • (15 mins) Sending totally unrealistic trade requests to all the new players in the league
  • (10 mins – 20 hours) Reading about football, fantasy football, TMZsports

Anyway, I think that one hour needs to be pumped up a bit.

Still, should employers be concerned? Challenger says no, and I agree. Encouraging collaboration is a piece of the puzzle called Workplace Strategies that Enhance Performance, Health and Wellness (seriously, read that one).  There are other examples. In this FastCompany article, the impact of 2014 World Cup pools are discussed:

“In the modern office, culture is king. If your company can establish a creative, competitive, and collaborative workplace, you’re half way to a successful business. Office pools can promote all of these characteristics, resulting in a positive office culture.”

FC goes on to cite stats from SHRM, the Society for Human Resources Management:

  • 70% of HR professionals say that office pools are a positive relationship building tool
  • 64% say it’s a good team building activity
  • 54% suggest pools might even increase productivity in the workplace

So there. It’s all about culture and building an environment that fosters engagement and collaboration. That’s the kind of culture we have at Kronos, so hurry up and join us. The season opens Thursday, September 10 with the reigning champs, the New England Patriots taking on some schmucks. No, not the Ravens. Some other schmucks.

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