Workplace productivity will lose a few yards over the next several weeks as millions of full-time workers let fantasy football get in the way.

Al Bello/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images

According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, fantasy football could cost employers "$16 billion in lost wages paid to workers managing their teams during business hours."

From mock drafts to actual drafts, from checking the waiver wires to roster changes, the lost time can really stack up, especially since everything can be conducted from any phone or computer.

But should companies be worried? Should they crack down on these fantasy team owners who are trading sales reports for injury reports?

The answer is no, according to the firm's Andy Challenger.

"At the end of the day…it's actually a good deal for the employers," he said. "Because of the increase in camaraderie, increase in employee culture, having people coming together, talking about something other than the daily business item."

Challenger said the in-office bonding caused by fantasy football, sometimes across departments, is hard to match and is a valuable asset for employers.

And with the way technology works these days, many full-time workers are conducting duties beyond the normal office hours, so this can be considered a trade-off.

"Employers are realizing they have to be more lenient to allow some of the home-life activities to come into the workplace," Challenger said.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated 56.8 million Americans and Canadians will participate in fantasy sports this year, up from 12.6 million a decade ago.

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