The internet has certainly created new avenues for business. But it’s also deprived employers of millions of dollars, as employees find ways to keep themselves entertained at work. A new study now suggests that employee participation in fantasy football at work costs up to $6.5 billion per year in lost productivity. The study is speculative, to be sure – it assumes that if 22.3 million Americans spent 1 hour each week at work playing fantasy football, lost work wages would be $6.5 billion.
Despite that large-sounding statistic, the actual cost per employee would be nearly nil – and there’s an argument to be made that allowing employees to recharge their batteries at work helps work quality (especially since workers would be browsing the internet anyway). Using that logic, the Obama administration will no doubt revise work-for-welfare requirements to ensure that playing fantasy football counts as work.