Thirty seven percent of Americanworkers say they've participated in fantasy sports competitionsduring work hours, and more than 1 out of 10 report feelingpressured to participate. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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There were probably a lot of tired people at work on Wednesday after thefirst game of the World Series—and as baseball season ends andfootball season wends its way toward the Super Bowl, there are only likely to bemore.

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And that's not good news for the workplace, according toresearch from Kimble Applications, which finds that 43 percent ofemployees admit to having watched games over the past year during work hours, when their managers thoughtthey were actually working.

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Related: 4 ways to enjoy March Madness without bustingoffice productivity

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Not only that, but 37 percent of American workers say they'veparticipated in fantasy sports competitions during work hours, andmore than 1 out of 10 report feeling pressured to participate evenif they don't want to. That old peer pressure again, rearing itsugly head…

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But plenty of folks think that sports and company-wide fantasyleagues are having a positive effect on work, contrary to anyevidence otherwise. In fact, 54 percent believe that fantasycompetitions or NCAA March Madness pools had a positive impact onculture and engagement.

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Not necessarily so workloads; while 36 percent of workers saythey're more productive during these times, 22 percent say it has anegative effect on productivity. And that's hard to argue with,considering that 17 percent of workers admit to having falselycalled out sick the day after a major sports event, while another36 percent say they'd consider doing so even if they haven't yet.And that, says the report, “could leave many organizationsunderstaffed with little time to prepare.”

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Aside from peppering their speech with annoyingly repetitivesports metaphors, what other effects to sports have in the office?The study also found that men are the biggest fans of fantasysports at work, with 50 percent of males playing over the pastyear—compared with just 29 percent of females. In addition, theyounger folks are bigger devotees, with just 34 percent of those 35and older have played in the past year, compared with 42 percent of18–34-year-old employees.

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And last but not least, 29 percent of employees believe thatsports rivalries have actually improved their workplacerelationships.

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Should you allow sports competitions in theoffice?

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.