Fantasy Sports – Time Waster or Team Builder?

Organizing a team builder can take a lot of time, effort and money but setting up a workplace fantasy sports league is both easy to do and free. For those of you unfamiliar with fantasy sports leagues, they are played online through various web services that allow friendly competition over the course of a sporting season or playoff. They are available for almost all major North American sports such as football, hockey, baseball, basketball, even golf. If your office has sports fans, I guarantee that many of them already participate in a fantasy league.

How Could you Consider this a Team Builder?

While it is not something that you can make mandatory, you may be surprised at the cross section of employees from various departments/divisions, both male and female, who want to participate. Organize an after hours get together and arrange for everyone to chip in for pizza. Organize the league and draft your teams. Would these employees have any other reason to meet each other at work, let alone develop a relationship with each other?

Not Everyone Follows Sports

Because of the variety of options available, a league can be setup for the casual fan or the hard core fan. This will allow for a greater variety of participants, depending on the size of your department/company. I organize a season-long hockey pool designed for those of us who follow the NHL closely and are interested in managing a team throughout the year as well as a Stanley Cup playoff pool which is designed for everyone to participate in, regardless of their hockey knowledge.

We Don’t Condone Gambling at the Workplace

There doesn’t need to be a money wager in order to have fun playing fantasy sports. It is still enjoyable even if there are only bragging rights at stake.

Employees will Waste Time at Work

Of course employees will talk about the league at work but it is no different than any other behaviour, if it becomes excessive or disruptive, you will have to deal with it appropriately according to your company policies. If it is excessive internet usage you are concerned about, block out these websites from use at work, people can manage their teams from home.

Overall fantasy sports are a fun and easy way to gather a group of employees together to enjoy an inexpensive good time together that may help build important relationships within your organization.

Written by: Tim Jackson, BComm, CHRP

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