Workplace Fantasy Football: More Good than Bad?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently shared an interesting statistic regarding the impact of fantasy football on workplace productivity:

“Fantasy football costs more than $16 billion a season in lost productivity.”

This number is scary. This number is high enough to push many companies into prohibiting fantasy sports in the workplace.

However, here is something you also need to know: workplace fantasy football can actually be a good thing. If approached in the appropriate manner, it can bring more good than bad to a company. Imagine that!

Fantasy Sports for Team Building

With the right strategy in place, fantasy sports can be used as a team building activity. This is a positive for employers and employees alike.

In the same SHRM article, John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, added the following insight:

“We need distractions during the day, whether it’s checking Facebook, scanning Twitter, buying something at Amazon.com or managing one’s fantasy football team. It may seem counterintuitive, but these short periods of being unproductive help workers be more productive in the long run. They also help boost morale, lower turnover and keep our creative juices flowing. For these reasons, employers may not only want to avoid clamping down on fantasy football, but may want to encourage it within the office.”

Through fantasy football, employees can grow closer together. As a result, they will work better with one another on company related projects. Furthermore, and just important, it can help build camaraderie.

There doesn’t have to be any money involved for employees to enjoy fantasy football. For some, it is all about bragging rights. They want to win their league so they can brag about it until the next season rolls around. But of course, it’s all in good fun.

Despite the concerns regarding workplace fantasy football – mainly lost productivity – there are also a variety of benefits. It is up to each individual company to decide if this activity will generate more good actions than bad.

What are your thoughts on this?

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