Fantasy Football Costing Employers a Real $6.5 Billion
When employees think of distractions at work, I’m sure the words “Facebook (News - Alert)” and “Twitter” are the first to pop up. But those are not the social distractions to be concerned about. Three weeks into fantasy football and I’m still lost in the wrong end zone. For the rest of the workforce, however, fantasy footballers are enjoying managing their teams. They’re also costing employers up to $6.5 billion in lost productivity.
According to a “very rough” study by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, if 22.3 million American workers spend one hour each week managing their fantasy football team, the cost to the nation’s employers in terms of wages paid to unproductive workers over the course of the typical 15-week fantasy football season could approach $6.5 billion.
Challenger chief executive John Challenger noted that the estimate, if accurate, “would not even register as a blip on the economic radar.”
“Employers will not see any impact on their bottom line and, for the most part, business will proceed as usual,” he said in a statement. “However, even if the economic impact is faint, it is important to acknowledge fantasy football’s overall impact as a societal and workplace phenomenon.”
The cities that rank in the top 30 fantasy markets include Baltimore, green Bay Buffalo, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York, Miami and Philadelphia.
Football image courtesy of Shutterstock.
This is only the tip of the iceberg though, said Nick Cavalancia, VP of SpectorSoft, a company that provides monitoring software used to enforce good productivity habits.
"The recent research put out by Challenger, Gray & Christmas only reveals the tip of an iceberg. In addition to spending time on fantasy football, employees are also spending time online during work hours watching a wide range of other sporting events, shopping, posting on Facebook and just randomly surfing the Web. In fact, a recent survey revealed that during the Olympics, 40 percent of employees planned to watch events on company time. When you add up all of the money businesses lose due to stolen time, $6.5 billion may be only a small fraction," said Cavalancia. "The real problem isn't all of the distractions found on the Internet, it is the lack of control employers have over how employees use corporate computing resources. If enterprises had the ability to enforce limitations on personal use, then much of the problem would be solved."
The survey SpectorSoft conducted for the 2012 Olympics found that even though 31.5 percent of respondents had a company policy against using work-issued computers for non-work related activities, 41.4 percent would still spend one hour watching the Olympics at work. For employees that weren’t sure if their company had a policy, well, they’re willing to take the risk: 62.5 percent of respondents who weren’t sure if their company has a policy were still planning on watching the games for one hour at work.
SpectorSoft offers Spector 360, the company’s corporate monitoring, surveillance and investigation solution with powerful administrative capabilities, dashboard views, enhanced activity recorders and support for massive scalability for up to thousands of client desktops per single installation. SpectorSoft develops, markets and supports PC/Internet monitoring and surveillance products for business, education, government and general home users.
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Edited by Rich Steeves