Fantasy football, IM throwing productivity for a loss

Not only does football consume much of America’s weekend this time of year, but new survey data also reveals that fans let their Fantasy Football obsession eat up time at work via instant-messaging chats.

Close to half of about 260 online poll respondents admitted they use IM programs to discuss Fantasy Football at work. The survey, conducted by policy and risk management vendor Akonix Systems and released Monday, showed that 47 per cent of respondents use IM to discuss Fantasy Football specifically.

“Corporate IM has become the virtual water-cooler for fantasy sports,” said Don Montgomery, vice-president of marketing at Akonix, in a statement. “Not only can IM affect worker productivity, but employees can also transmit confidential information without getting caught.”

Fantasy Football distractions on the job could cost American businesses as much as US$7.4 billion in lost company time this season, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The firm earlier this year revealed its findings, which are based on the premise that the 13.6 million Fantasy Football enthusiasts (an estimate from the Sports Trade Association) each spend an average of 10 minutes of company time per day managing their fantasy teams and players during the National Football League regular season that runs from September through December.

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