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Fantasy football isn't sapping productivity, or is it?

Don't fool yourself: Your human resources manager probably knows you're managing your fantasy football team from work.

But according to a new survey, most HR folks don't seem to think a little time on the virtual football field is hurting your productivity much.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas asked about 100 human resource professionals across the country to rank the level of distraction from fantasy football on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest level of distraction. The average rating was 3.42.

Nearly half of the HR folks surveyed said they don't care if employees spend part of their day managing their team, as long as their work isn't affected.

About 22 percent said they asked their employees to limit personal activities like fantasy football to breaks and lunch time, and another 24 percent block sports and fantasy football websites.

That many HR managers are willing to let a little fantasy football slide is probably good news for the approximately 20 million Americans who are estimated to participate in the game.

Perhaps the HR managers are more forgiving because they are guilty of a little work-time football play too. Challenger said 65 percent of the HR professionals polled said they participate in fantasy football leagues.

And even though the HR manager may not mind a little time on the virtual field, fantasy football still has its costs.

In 2008, Challenger released a separate study estimating that fantasy football could cost corporate America as much as $10.5 billion over the 17-week NFL season. The dollar amount was calculated based on the average earnings of fantasy football players and the amount of time they spend on their teams during the work day.

The outplacement firm's chief executive, John Challenger, argued that you don't necessarily want to put an end to your staff's fantasy football careers. That could further sap productivity by decreasing employee morale, he said.

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