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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Recently we told you about a study that described how your boss is losing money because you're wasting time thinking about the Super Bowl. But are all these lost productivity studies really valid? Marketplace's Amy Scott explores that question.

AMY SCOTT: This week sports fans will cost their employers $820 million in lost productivity, as in searching for that perfect onion dip recipe instead of working.

At least that's what outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas would have you believe.

The company regularly puts out such reports ahead of major sporting events.

But productivity is a hard thing to quantify. Carl Bialik writes The Numbers Guy column for the Wall Street Journal. He says what about all the leisure time many of us spend working?

CARL BIALIK: No employer really expects their workers to sit at their desk all day. They really just want to get the job done, and how that happens for each employee might not matter so much to a good boss.

Plus, a little water cooler chat helps builds camaraderie among workers, one economist says.

Then again, without the Super Bowl, he says they'd probably find something else to talk about.

I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

Follow Amy Scott at @amyreports