If you’ve ever attended a football match, you will be aware of how electric and energetic the atmosphere can be. From the fans, who clap and chant as one in support of their team, to the players, who are often willing to run through walls to get the right result for their club — a stadium during a game is one of the liveliest places around.
Have you ever wondered if you could capture some of that match day lightning in a bottle and apply it to your workplace? If so, then it won’t be surprising to learn that encouraging and facilitating team sports within your own business can reap many highly desirable rewards, including increased productivity and improved company morale.
A 2006 study, commissioned by Hudson and conducted by the Social Issues Research Centre, considered the impact of sport on the UK workplace, from watching major tournaments to employee participation. It found that 80% of men and 70% of women believed that workplaces could use sports as a tool to boost performance. In addition, 45% of male and 43% of female respondents suggested that playing football, netball, or tennis together with colleagues would increase morale and productivity.
So, it would seem that introducing sports to the workplace has the potential to be a very good thing for your business. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits that you could harness for success.
Creating teams that work together
From an early age, we are encouraged to participate in sports, something the International Platform on Sport and Development says teaches honesty, teamwork, and respect for others, among many other qualities. Most companies rely on their employees working together to get things done, whether this is across a whole department or in more focused groups, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to think that some of these early-years lessons could be imparted through employee sports participation.
In encouraging your staff to work together through sports, you could be fostering a real sense of team spirit and camaraderie that is reflected in how they get on during working hours.
Improved health and fitness
By providing your staff with an outlet for exercise, you could see the benefits in your day-to-day operation. Fit for Work, an initiative set up by the government, recommends that employers encourage anything that can keep their employees active and healthy, including setting up a work sports team.
They highlight the science behind the initiative — the extra endorphins released through exercise give staff more self-confidence and energy, as well as helping improve their mental health. They also mention that employees who are in better shape are less likely to fall ill, which can reduce the amount of sick leave taken, saving money and increasing productivity.
Introduce a competitive edge
When your company sports team is up and running, there is a good chance that your employees will bring back some of the competitive edge back to the office. Working together for success on the pitch can bring out a winning attitude in many people, and when the team get back together in the workplace they might just apply that to the way that they perform in their roles.
What you can do to encourage workplace sports
When you make the effort as an employer to encourage workplace sports, you can show your staff that you care for them beyond their role within your company. The approach you take can be as hands-on or hands-off as you are comfortable with, but you should try to make sure that it doesn’t feel like you are forcing them to get involved.
You should take it upon yourself to make it as easy as possible for them to create something special. This could be as simple as arranging a place and time to practice, or going all out in providing them with the tools they need to excel.
You can do this no matter the size of your company with careful planning and budgeting — workloads can be managed efficiently and you can use price comparison websites like FOOTY.COM to find the best deals on sports equipment and training gear.
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So, there you have it, we’ve taken a look at some of the benefits that workplace sports can bring to your business, as well as some of the ways you can encourage it. All that’s left is for you to get the team signed up and out on the pitch.
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