Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to plan, manage, and promote your office sports league, let's look at some of the reasons why you would want to start one in the first place. Creating or joining an office sports league has many benefits as a group and individually.
It's no secret that physical activity reduces physical and mental stress. Exercise is basically a trial run for your body. When you voluntarily put yourself in a stressful situation, like playing basketball, your body has the opportunity to practice the interactions needed to respond to that stress. The more we practice handling stressful situations well, the easier those situations are to handle.
Giving co-workers a common goal outside of work will help to build morale. Feeling victory and failure together deepen trust and loyalty between co-workers. People tend to feel loyalty to peers rather than a company or title. This connection can lead to higher productivity and efficiency.
Building strong relationships on the field will improve workplace relationships. Allowing co-workers, supervisors, and managers to work in a new context will increase trust which carries into the office and can improve communication. A positive relationship on the field lends itself to a positive relationship in the office.
How someone plays a game and how someone solves a problem are very similar. Having the chance to see co-workers on the field can bring insight to how they work and how communication can shift to their problem-solving style.
Now that you've decided a sports league will benefit your office it's time to get started on creating your league.
This sounds like a simple task but deciding on what game to organize will make a big difference on how you plan your league.
Make it easy for your employees and co-workers to attend your games by choosing a field or gym near your office. Even better if you're able to host your game in the office.
If you're choosing a sport that involves teams eliminate the potential for drama by creating teams rather than having players choose their own. Try to mix departments to give employees who don't usually spend time together a chance to connect!
Again you want to make it easy for people to join your league. After work games can be tricky when many people have families and other commitments, plus not everyone will be thrilled about staying late. Weekends are even harder depending on where your players live.
The ideal times are lunch and weekday afternoons. When given the option to take a long lunch or end the work day early for a game, most people will be excited to join!
The most important part of the equation is to get your co-workers and employees to join your league! Here are some ideas on how to build up excitement for your office league.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Organizing a Sports League for more tips!