With the NFL season around the corner, offices everywhere are gearing up for another season of fantasy football. As the season’s change, so will office culture. Employees will be sneaking incognito tabs full of mock drafts and daily rankings while hawking Rotoworld more times every day instead of checking their email inbox over the next four months.
The return of fantasy football means the focus will shift from the office to how owners will replace former Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, and that’s going to cost US businesses billions in productivity, according to a new survey.
Executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that if workers dedicate 2.5 hours each week over the next few months on fantasy football, businesses stand to lose more than $9 billion due to decreased production and shifted focus to the gridiron.
The study used data from a Nielsen Scarborough study in 2018 which estimated 12.5 million adults will play fantasy football this year. With more than 7.5 million adults in this group being fulltime workers, this means time will be dedicated to perfecting their team for a championship during work hours. It predicts that about 30 minutes every day, outside of normal breaks or lunch, will be dedicated to checking not he status on their players, research, and entertaining potential trades.
While the prospect of losing money might stress companies, Andrew Challenger, the Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said a business should embrace employers’ ambitions and dedication to fantasy football as it could potentially be beneficial.
“Fantasy Football can be a boost to a company’s bottom line in terms of higher morale and lower turnover,” Challenger said in a press release. “These types of distractions can keep workers’ creative juices flowing. Fantasy Football can provide workers with common ground and a reason to connect when they otherwise would not interact. For these reasons, employers may want to encourage Fantasy Football leagues within the office.”
While Challenger, Gray & Christmas used estimations to generate its $9 million loss for businesses in production, a separate study found that people are spending way more time each week than 2.5 hours on fantasy football. Opploans surveyed workers and found that 96% of participants admitted to spending time at their job working on their fantasy team — an average of 6.9 work hours every week. This higher number would put lost productivity at almost $25 billion.
As for the specifics inside the office, employees spend more than an hour per week perfecting their lineups at their desk, according to Captivate’s Office Pulse survey, but that doesn’t stop upper management from getting in on the action. With 27% of people interested in joining a league either at or above a senior management level, nearly a quarter (21%) of senior managers said they will be joining a league with their coworkers, which could create a natural bridge between lower-level employees that wasn’t there before.