Aug 29, 201102:21 PMBlog

Should employers worry about fantasy football?

Aug 29, 2011 - 02:21 PM
With less than two weeks to go before the opening kick-off in the National Football League season, fantasy football participants across the country are undoubtedly spending more time than usual fine-tuning their draft selections and rosters due to a lock-out shortened pre-season. Unfortunately for the nation's employers, some of the extra time spent on player research may come during business hours.

However, even with an estimated 21.3 million full-time workers participating in fantasy sports each year, with some spending as much as nine hours per week managing their teams, the impact on overall workplace productivity is negligible, according to the workplace experts at global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
"In an information-based economy, productivity is very difficult to measure," said John A. Challenger, CEO of CG&C. "And the same widespread access to the Internet from our desks, phones and laptops that allows people to manage their fantasy teams from any place at any time, also allows work to be completed outside of traditional 9-to-5 work hours."

According to statistics from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the number of people participating in fantasy sports in the United States and Canada has grown 60 percent over the past four years to 32 million. The Association's research indicates that 19 percent of full-time workers in the United States have played fantasy sports in the past year.

Football is, of course, the most popular fantasy sport, played by about 80 percent of all fantasy sports participants.

"It is impossible to determine how much of that weekly prep time is spent during work hours," Challenger said. "It is even more difficult to determine how time spent managing teams during work hours actually impacts productivity or the company's bottom line. If you look at a company's third and fourth quarter earnings statements, it is unlikely that you will find a fantasy football effect. The impact is more likely to be seen by department managers and team leaders, who have a better sense of their workers' day-to-day work flow. Even at level, though, it might not be worth cracking down on fantasy football, unless the quantity or quality of an individual's work drops
off significantly."


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