“Should I start Michael Vick or Aaron Rodgers?” Yes, it is that time of year again, fantasy football. Although, I am not a participate in fantasy football, I attempted to persuade my father or brother to let me select their first round pick, which my offer was of course denied.

Based on a study and survey done by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, they estimated that during the season of fantasy football, it could cost a large employer $6.5 billion in lost productivity.

So just how did Challenger, Gray & Christmas come up with this estimate? Here is how they did it:

“It assumed that 8.2 percent of the 24.3 million fantasy football participants (as estimated by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association) are unemployed, leaving about 22.3 million employed team managers. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that weekly earnings for all Americans in the second quarter averaged $773 or $19.33 per hour. Assuming on the conservative side that fantasy football participants spend one hour each week researching stats and tweaking their rosters, the firm multiplied the $19.33 figure by the 22.3 million employed participants. That results in a dollar amount of approximately $430.9 million each week in unproductive wages paid by employers to fantasy footballers. Multiply that by 15 weeks and the total reaches $6.46 billion.”

Although the above equation might not actually apply to your business, the fact behind this is that with the football season approaching quickly, the fantasy football craze has been on the rise over the past several weeks. Each week individuals are battling for the win and spend all week researching and/or “guessing” who on their team will have the best performance during the upcoming games. During the 17 week football season, the average person may spend up to two hours at work managing their football lineup and determining their statistical performance compared to others in the league (that is if your company does not already have these sites blocked). Based on the above equation from Challenger, the loss of productivity can add up quickly over the course of the season.

There is also the idea that creating a company-wide fantasy football draft may actually increase the morale in the workplace. For example, having a workplace fantasy football draft may encourage relationship building between employees. From a strategic sourcing sense, fantasy football offers the ability to brush up on your negotiation skills. There is always that chance that someone in your league presents you with a trade that requires in-depth consideration and negotiation to get the most out of the trade. If you are a true fantasy footballer, you may take the time to spreadsheet player statistics, keep track of points and create formulas to determine which player you should play each week.

As long as you keep your priorities straight and don’t get too carried away with the fantasy football craze while at work, I see no reason why fantasy football should be eliminated from the workplace.

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Danielle Rosato

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