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Workplace Productivity and the World Cup

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The folks at Mashable were touting an infographic that complained about “lost productivity” due to the 2010 World Cup. It was filled with bogus, deceptive figures that make our blood boil.

The original story mostly consists of the image, which we’ve repeated below. Take a look, and scroll down for our commentary and a treat:

productivity growth and the world cup

We could spent lots of time tearing into these numbers, but several columnists have already done a great job explaining why this is a meaningless exercise. Megan McArdle, writing for The Atlantic, simply notes:

The amount of guesswork necessary in these estimates make it difficult to accurately gauge the cost of productivity lost due sporting events. Most of these estimates are hype and fuzzy math or ignore the built-in costs of everyday interruptions.

There’s also a great article on Slate which attacks productivity losses during last year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.
Here is our take on that same diagram:

employee productivity world cup

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