It’s a sad but inescapable fact: The Super Bowl on February 3 in New Orleans is going to cost your business money. Office betting pools and fantasy football leagues cost employers $6.5 billion every year in lost productivity, according to a Challenger, Gray and Christmas study in 2012. The study showed that more than 22 million Americans spend an hour a week on these activities at work.
“Nielsen estimated that over 111 million people watched the Super Bowl last season,” says Printable Brackets spokesman Zaniel Worth. “It’s safe to believe a number of people were involved in office contests or Super Bowl pools of some kind.”
Although we don't know yet who will play in the big game, there is probably a Super Bowl square contest already circulating in your office. Worth says that “filling in a 100-square grid can be a bit time consuming, which leads to poorer employee productivity.”
What can you do as a small-business owner? In many states, these office pools are actually illegal. While you probably won't prevent employees from forming a pool, keep it local and informal. Ensure that none of the management team participates so there isn't a pereception that the business supports this activity.
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