Maximizing Productivity - The Role of Sports in the Workplace

As the European Week of Sport dawns on us again, it seems only suitable to explore the benefits of solo and team sports in a business environment.

Team vs. Individual sports

Anyone who has been part of a team sport in their life will understand its unique capacity for creating enduring bonds among those involved. In the sphere of a sporting environment, you crest through waves of intense competition, physical strain, mental acuity, and a unique sense of unity with those whom you share a team with.

Even in non-team sports such a tennis or squash, there is a level of reciprocal admiration forged between you and your opponent. Though this admiration may not blossom into a friendship, it can often provide a framework of mutual respect. In both cases, team or solo sports, there is an improvement in physical and mental health and a reduced chance of illness.

What does sport do for social relations?

Spoiler Alert: It strengthens them!

As a team, you go through highs and lows together and must form a cohesive, unified network in order to have any chance of winning. As individuals in solo sports, you must calculate the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, learn from your mistakes, and test your physical and mental capabilities against your opponents. In both cases, whether solo or team-based, you are cultivating your skills together and pushing each other to progress through adverse scenarios.

Translating sports to the workplace

A workplace that has put time into building strong internal relations will eventually engender the same sense of unity, interdependence, and communion that is characteristic of a sports team. Sports encourage people to gain and maintain:

  • A well-rounded approach to teamwork
  • A cool head in stressful situations and environments
  • Competitive edge over your opponent
  • Structured and consistent work-rate
  • Lower instances of illness

A recent study by the US National Library of Medicine found that team sports in the workplace directly improved interpersonal communication and individual approaches to physical activity behavior. This meant that people in an office improved their ability to exchange information with one another and positively increased the amount of physical activity they engaged in.

It doesn’t take a genius to see how these factors are imperative to a happy and productive workforce. Additionally, when you engage in team sports with your colleagues, you will have a good time together and having fun is basically the foundation of any positive relationship!

Subsidizing sports to maximize productivity

If you are starting a business, it’s worth factoring sport into your company budget and subsidizing the cost for employee participation. Of course, it’s up to your employees to decide if they want to participate, but having the option there will encourage a healthier and happier office. By offering team sports in your start-up, communication and teamwork in the office are proven to rise and interpersonal relations are more likely to thrive. Thus, if you want a productive start-up, consider how introducing sports into your workplace could maximize your business output…