Fantasy Football Costing Employers, Some Say So What?

August 16, 2006 ( - Employees who participate in Fantasy Football are costing their employers more than $1 billion a week in lost productivity, according to recent survey.

A survey by Chicago-based employment research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., which follows corporate office trends, found that office workers who participate in Fantasy Football do so about 10 minutes each work day and are costing employers as much as $1.1 billion in lost productivity each week.

The firm that conducted the survey is the same one that estimated workers cost employers about $1.5 billion in lost productivity during the 15 days before the NCAA Men’s College Basketball tournament, or March Madness (See Challenger: March Madness Steals Worker Productivity). The firm also estimated the cost to employers of employees chatting about the Super Bowl was as much as $821 million in lost wages (See The Super Bowl’s Hidden Cost: Lost Productivity? ).

The Chicago firm assumed participants spend 10 minutes per day, or almost an hour a week, drafting players, setting rosters and plotting strategy at the office.

However, the firm that conducted the survey said a boost in office camaraderie might be worth the dent in productivity.

“Employers should avoid squashing employees’ brief participation in fantasy football during work hours,” Challenger said, according to a release about the survey. “The potential damage to morale and loyalty resulting from a … ban could be far worse than the loss of productivity caused by 10 minutes of online team management. Companies that not only allow workers to indulge in fantasy football but actually encourage it by organizing a company league are likely to see significant benefits.”