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Do Not Let Fantasy Football Bring Down Your Productivity

Fans feared this football season would not happen due to a tense labor dispute between the players and the team owners.  However, the season kicked off with an exciting 42-34 win by the Green Bay Packers over the New Orleans Saints.  As we cautioned last year, 37 million people spend an average of 50 minutes per week looking at their various fantasy team during work hours.  This fantasy league obsession costs employers billions in lost productivity.  Here are some tips to help employers limit that loss:

 Have a set policy on internet usage in the workplace and enforce the policy equally.

  • Prohibit office pools, as these promote illegal sports gambling.
  • If you find your employees spending more time discussing which wide receiver they should pick up for their fantasy team than their latest sales meeting, encourage them to discuss sports during lunchtime or after work.  

Employers should have a policy put in place to address these issues, and supervisors should be trained to enforce those policies evenhandedly.  There is nothing wrong with occasional banter about sports and fantasy teams in the office and in fact this encourages a positive work environment.  You just need to be sure that it does not consume your employees and prevent them from doing their jobs.