Game of Thrones chat costs companies an estimated $3.3 billion in lost productivity

Theorizing and betting pools has caused a huge loss of productivity, but it’s a great bonding experience with your coworkers.

Helen Sloan / HBO

Everyone is talking about “Game of Thrones” at every workplace, engaging in competing theories and even pools about who will die next, and there’s no way for you or your employer to stop it. Nor should it be stopped, said outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas VP Andrew Challenger said in a news release.

“The cultural phenomenon that is ‘Game of Thrones’ is another opportunity for employers to build camaraderie in the office. Bosses shouldn’t try to stifle these discussions in the least. In fact, it’s likely they are just as enthusiastically participating in them as their employees.”

Although Challenger, Gray & Christmas predict that “Game of Thrones” is a workplace distraction that could cost a staggering $3.3 billion in productivity, they note that it’s hardly the biggest workplace distraction.

Other recent major events costing employers large amounts of money due to lost productivity:

  • 2018 online holiday shopping: $35.4 billion
  • 2017/18 flu season: $21.4 billion
  • 2019 March Madness: $13.3 billion
  • 2019 Super Bowl Monday: $4.4 billion

Although the $3.3 billion lost-productivity estimate could get even higher as pressure builds around the final episodes of “Thrones” – especially the second to last.

Emilia Clarke, who plays Danaerys Targaryen (aka Khaleesi aka Mother of Dragons), recently appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and teased what’s to come in the final episodes of the HBO series.

“Episode five is bigger,” she said. “Episode five is, I mean, four and five and six, they’re all insane, but like … Find the biggest TV you can.”


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.