How fantasy football and BYOD boost team collaboration

By Rose de Fremery

Fall is here, and football fans everywhere are either tailgating outside stadiums or putting out the chips and dip in the living room before the big game starts. Behind the scenes, though, there’s another season underway: fantasy football. Many die-hard fans devote enormous amounts of time and energy into managing their own virtual football teams this time of year — and in this case, both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat take place behind the glowing screen of a mobile device. Much like BYOD at the office, mobile fantasy football can bring people together for better collaboration and, yes, some lighthearted teasing as well.

Why fantasy football is so popular

According to CNET, an estimated 40 million Americans spent the Labor Day weekend feverishly setting up their teams and preparing for the season. Friends, family members and co-workers all obsess over fantasy football throughout the fall and winter, taking advantage of convenient mobile apps to stay up-to-date on their teams and pore over data to gain a competitive advantage against their rivals. Hardcore fantasy football aficionados are even known to keep multiple devices at the ready for instant access to as much information as possible — the ultimate version of BYOD and the second-screen experience.

Though fans of fantasy football are obviously a competitive bunch, they are also drawn to the community and camaraderie it creates. No matter what may be going on in their busy lives that week, they can all stay in touch with a fun activity that brings everyone together. And now, with mobile access to fantasy teams, that community is available anytime, anywhere. You could be stuck in your office trying to get that report done, but you can still take a second to make that last-minute trade that sends your rival, Joe from the San Francisco office, into a frenzy. And sure enough, here comes a message from Joe on your tablet giving you a hard time (in a good-natured way, of course) for snapping up that player he wanted. That feeling of instant connection is a powerful magnet for many fans.

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Fantasy football and BYOD

Employees using their own devices for work is incredibly popular as well, for surprisingly similar reasons. Insight predicts the BYOD market will grow from $60 billion to $180 billion this year, and an estimated 74 percent of organizations are using BYOD or planning to implement it, according to ZDNet. Mobility helps teams collaborate better and enjoy greater productivity, whether they’re planning their next moves on the virtual gridiron or getting their work done on the go. A sales executive on her way to the airport can collaborate with her team to prepare for a high-profile client meeting, ensuring her company wins an all-important deal. Likewise, an accountant working from home in the midst of a storm can still coordinate with his colleagues on mission-critical financial reports so they are ready in time for the board meeting.

Not only does enterprise mobility aid collaboration, but it also signifies a powerful business advantage for the organization. According to recent research from Harvard Business Review, the “bring-your-own-technology” approach is more prevalent in high-performing, customer-oriented companies. Just as with fantasy football, that connectedness and sense of community can be of real productive value when it comes to customer engagement.

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Mobile access also helps individual employees work better on their own. Much like fantasy team owners lose themselves in research and statistics on their mobile devices while on the train home from the office, office professionals can use that same convenient mobile access to review data and prepare for presentations or research new initiatives. They can use the devices they prefer and feel most comfortable with, which also supports their productivity.

Although it might not seem like it at first glance, fantasy football and BYOD policies actually have quite a lot in common. Both leverage the power of mobility to enable group collaboration toward a shared goal, whether that’s a coveted fantasy football championship or a victory at the office. Whether your setting is a fantasy league or a messaging session among colleagues, there’s nothing you can’t achieve together with mobility on your team.

Written By

Rose de Fremery

Writer

Rose de Fremery is a New York-based writer. She currently covers business IT topics such as technology innovation, mobile strategy, unified communications, CRM and marketing automation, IT management, and the virtual workforce for HP, Intel, Vonage, and IBM Mobile Business Insights.…

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