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Inject some Energy into your Workplace!

If you’ve ever found yourself jumping off your seat when your football team scores a beauty of a goal, or punching the air when your rugby team manages to battle over the try line to take the match, or if you’ve just avoided going to the toilet because your favourite tennis player is stuck in a brutal tie-break and you just can’t leave (despite being desperate), then you know what impact sport can have on you…and that’s just watching it, let alone participating…

Participating in and watching sport can release in you energy that you didn’t even know was there – when you’re in a long week where your bottomless mountain of paperwork has sapped all of your vigour, sport can often be one of the only things that can get you to take a break from your own head and revitalise yourself.

So could that contagious energy that sport creates somehow be used to bring a spark of electricity into the workplace - which is sometimes, dare we say, lacking in energy.

A 2006 study, 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.

By encouraging and facilitating team sports within your workplace, your business can reap many highly desirable rewards, including increased productivity and improved company morale. Below are just some of the benefits that ‘Talk Business’ magazine say that sport can bring to your organisation:

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.

At Inspired Through Sport, we see time and time again that when you make the effort as an employer to encourage workplace sports, it shows your workforce that you care for them beyond their role within your company. When our athletes visit organisations, it inspires workforces to get active and shows the employees that their employer cares about their mental and physical health.

The approach you take to embed sporting energy in your organisation 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.

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