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With the new year comes the advent of new resolutions, and there’s no better way to encourage some office comradery while hitting those business targets than deciding to initiate some workplace team sports. You’re probably wondering what the connection between merely feeling like tripping a colleague who’s always late with their deadlines with actually getting an opportunity to out on the field is.

The truth is, the benefits linked to exercise in terms of job performance have long been studied and proven, while finding space within your working week to squeeze some mild cardio in can also ensure you’re left with plenty of free time to spare once you leave the office. Either way, tripping your colleague on field or off it is probably not the best plan of action to deal with their tardiness.

The research speaks for itself

In a study published by the International Journal and History of Sport, it was found students who participated in team sports were actually better academic performers, more engaged with their work, and had lower levels of stress than their less athletic counterparts.

In another review carried out by Loughborough University, researchers found ‘workplace team sports should be considered by organisations due to the organisational benefits, such as reduced sickness costs and increased work performance and team cohesion among those participating’. Andrew Brinkley, co-author of the review, explains more specifically how workplace exercise also allow employees who are engaged or too busy to exercise otherwise (especially if they’re parents, or have multiple jobs) an opportunity to get fit.

Team sports can encourage company-wide and team-specific cohesion

Bringing together members of a team of colleagues from different departments to take part in team sports can really boost morale and also encourage and foster a sense of trust. Since most kinds of sports are achievement-driven, they’re also a great way to encourage people to stay motivated and engage with a healthier kind of competitiveness.

Not only does this mean you’ll get to stay healthy and keep your focus up, but you’re also developing the core traits required for success within a business- an understanding of team-work, leadership, and collaboration.

Encouraging team sports within the office

There are a couple of great ways to organise and encourage team sports within the office. The key trick to getting as many people involved as possible is to try and ensure you’re organising participation at a time and space that is convenient for most employees.

This could be an hour out of a week right before lunch during the work week, or over an afternoon in the weekend. Covering the costs of a venue or investing in some team work-wear will provide plenty of opportunity for some handy employer branding and promotion, while further encouraging a sense of pride and engagement for your employees.

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