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The Benefits Of Team Sports At Work
Participation in team sports and business are not often linked, but they do share many similarities and can give advantages for both employees and employers alike.
The benefits of sports activities are considerable and should leave people feeling stronger physically and mentally and more empowered to tackle life out of the gym or off the pitch too. However, what about team sports, be that 5-a-side football or doubles badminton/ tennis or even ten-pin bowling.
The objective of any team, whether it’s in business or in sport, is to achieve targets through a set of values which all members hold in common. An organisation’s shared vision can likewise inspire employees to perform to the best of their ability not only for the betterment of the Company, but also for their own personal satisfaction in a job well done.
A study by Hudson found that 80% of men and 70% of women believed that workplaces could use sport 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. A win-win situation then!
Businesses rely on employees working together to get things done. Therefore, encouraging employees to take up sports together would foster a sense of team spirit that could be reflected in how they get on during working hours. Playing sport also would often introduce a competitive edge, let alone improve workforce health and fitness. Absence levels improve when the workforce are active.
Annie Ross wrote in the Evening Standard that there are five benefits of playing team sports: learning to take feedback, improved communication, setting goals and sticking to them, maintaining focus and learning how to cope with stress. All of this with a note of caution! On the negative side, there would be a fear of injury, bullying and discrimination, but not if handled correctly and responsibly.
So sport can have a positive effect, but if the employer encourages team sport it will have a positive effect on workplace culture and show that the company cares for it’s staff beyond their role in the company.
As the head of a business, why not take the lead and encourage a team event at the local leisure centre, tennis club or football centre? It is important not to force everyone to do it, but for little cost or work time, it could have a positive effect on the success of the business.
Inspired by: Loughborough University – Benefits of Team Sport, London Standard – 5 benefits of playing team sports, Talk Business – Workplace Sports Can Boost Business, Chapman – Leadership, HR & Elite Sport