What Business Can Learn From Fantasy Football
If fall is approaching, then a significant number of employees are working feverishly in their cubicles to make critical decisions: “Do I draft Andrew Luck as quarterback in the first round? Or should I target a stud running back or wide receiver?” Yes, we’re talking about fantasy football, which Forbes has estimated is a $70 billion market. For organizations, however, employees' near-obsessive devotion to this pastime amounts to a multibillion-dollar productivity drain, according to recent research from Challenger, Gray and Christmas. (The global outplacement consultancy primarily combines U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data with statistics about fantasy football participation to calculate its findings.) That said, CEO John Challenger cautions managers about banning such activity entirely, noting that the productivity loss figure amounts to a tiny fraction of all wages paid during the fantasy football season. “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,” he points out. “It may seem counterintuitive, but those 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.” As an added bonus, we’re including IT team lessons learned from fantasy football, as adapted from online research posted by companies such as CorporateRewards, which provides WorkStride, an incentive and rewards software platform.