Just a quick note this morning on the idea of random numbers and productivity losses around the use of social networking, but other sacred cows like Fantasy Football we shrug at. Companies do not generally tend to block access to Fantasy Football sites, but the productivity loss playing the Fantasy Football game can amount to as much as you lose in a whole year with social networking. Then there is the American Side of the argument that Social Networking costs 2.25 billion in productivity costs, which is still much less than Fantasy Football.
And now for some numbers to support that claim, according to Findarticles.com the following numbers apply as of November 2008.
Nearly 14 million workers likely are spending some company time huddling over their fantasy football teams. That diversion could cost employers around the nation an estimated $10.5 billion in lost productivity during the 17-week NFL season, according to some estimates. Source: Findarticles.com
This morning the Telegraph out of the UK reports that social networking can cost companies some 1.38 Billion Pounds, or roughly 2 Billion dollars, or 1/5th of the total cost of Fantasy Football. Only some 14 million people on average play Fantasy Football, while 300 million roughly (using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and FriendFeed numbers from Compete.com) are using social networking.
Realistically then employees using social networking are 80% more productive than people playing Fantasy Football. If you twist the numbers a lot and take a look at the many ways that simple things tend to distort over time. If Fantasy Football really costs 10.5 billion in lost productivity, and if Social networking really costs between 2 and 2.25 billion in lost productivity, that is one huge tab for corporate America to be paying. By far the best way to regain the lost productivity is to cut Fantasy Football, and see your workers productivity soar. Well ok, not necessarily soar, but much like Social Networking, Fantasy Football is an important release mechanism for employees, to do away with it would have a serious negative impact on company moral. Which is true of social networking as well, take it away, and gain a 2 to 2.5 billion productivity gain and deal with sagging moral that might cost more than taking away social networking.
And people continue to wonder why the newspapers are dying, it is articles like the one in the Telegraph that actually support a different story given a little fun, twisting of words, and otherwise debunking yet another myth about social networking as a productivity killer.
- Breaking: Twitter costs British economy less than people who gaze out the window
- The Cost of Social Media to Worker Productivity: $2.25 Billion [Survey]
(Cross-posted @ TechWag)