Team building: How group sports and activities boost company culture

by Sarah Kotysch

Humans are social creatures. We’re happiest surrounded by people who we connect with and trust. A safe, comfortable environment boosts our mood, improves our mental health and makes us more productive in everyday life. That’s why a positive work environment is crucial to the success of your company.

This article explores the different ways a company can integrate team building activities into the work environment to create an office culture to be envied. From company runs to group yoga to hiking trips – there’s no better way to strengthen relationships than with team sports. 

What is team building?

First let’s take a look at what we mean by team building in a business context. 

Team building is the process of transforming individual employees into a unified team, which in turn improves performance and efficiency. A unified team will achieve the company’s visions and objectives more quickly.

Infobox: Definition of Team building

There are two types of team building: the day-to-day interactions between colleagues during the working day and dedicated team building activities. The latter are usually events planned by management to bring employees closer and support those day-to-day office interactions.

The benefits of team building vary depending on the size and focus of your company – so before we look at a team building strategy, let’s break down the benefits of team cohesion.

The importance of team building activities in a work context

Connected teams bring better results

Building a strong team isn’t about hiring a certain type of person – it’s about building trust, championing communication and creating a supportive culture. That’s when projects will start to run more smoothly and challenges will be overcome more efficiently. 

Improved staff turnover

Team building activities will make employees feel more valued and help them bond with their colleagues. A study conducted by University of Surrey and Grenoble Ecole de Management shows these interpersonal relationships are very important to employees. The study found that one of the key ways to retain employees is by “building a culture where employees have lively, high-energy interactions with one another on a regular basis.” 

Strengthened company culture

Team building activities are a good way to show appreciation for your team and the great work they do on a daily basis. But don’t take our word for it – a study of Quantum Workplace shows that 53% of employees experience and enjoy company culture most through recognition and celebrations.  

Rise of remote work

Office culture has changed dramatically since the pandemic. Home office reduced social interactions and Zoom calls replaced team meetings. Now, many companies operate in hybrid mode with home office remaining an option – which means contact is still reduced. So even though office culture is slowly returning to normality, people have a lot of catching up to do and team building is a great way to do that.

How sports activities boost team cohesion

It’s clear investing in team cohesion is crucial – but what’s the best way to foster it? There are many online and offline options, from games to cooking classes to cocktail workshops to an office gardening project. There are no limits – just as long as the activities are based on the interests of the employees. 

The entire ethos of Urban Sports Club is based on our belief in the universal benefit of sports. So let’s take a look at how sports activities can bring your team closer together.

It’s no secret that sports and movement are crucial for our mental and physical health. In fact, studies by Medical News Today found that just one hour of exercise a week prevents depression, improves muscle health and positively impacts life expectancy.

One key benefit of corporate sports is it reduces absenteeism, as it strengthens the immune system.

Just like fitness, social interaction is crucial for our mental health. Several studies link social interaction to physical and mental health. They show that social relations can improve memory formation, prevent mental decline, relieve physical pain, decrease the risk of disease and accelerate recovery from illness.

When you combine team building with sports, you can reap the benefits of both. 

Infobox: Why exercising in groups is more beneficial

Sporty team building activities are a great way to strengthen team spirit. When colleagues team up and compete against other departments, it sparks ambition and competitive spirit and creates a fun and vibrant atmosphere. When working towards a common sports goal, team members learn to support and trust each other which is transferred into a business context once back in the office. Employees will also discover common interests which forms the basis for strong personal relationships. 

Infobox: The advantages of sporty team building activities

Team building with Urban Sports Club’s corporate fitness membership

A corporate fitness membership with Urban Sports Club will motivate your team to do joint workouts during lunch breaks or after work. You’ll also have a ton of options for sporty team events.

Here are some tips to make Urban Sports Club’s corporate offer a success:

1. Share a list of corporate team activities

Urban Sports Club offers a wide range of activities that will strengthen team spirit and cohesion. Whether a volleyball match, a badminton tournament or team boxing training, check out the venues near you and customize a list of activities for your team.

2. Send venue updates and team building ideas

Sports can get deprioritized in the midst of a busy work week. That’s why regular communication and reminders are a great way to keep your team motivated to use your new corporate benefit. Share regular updates about local sports partners and tips on great team training spots.

3. Schedule regular sporty team events 

Consistency will help people turn sports into a habit. That’s why we recommend planning regular sports days every first Thursday of the month, for example. Consistency will give your team something to look forward to and will increase participation.

4. Introduce team challenges

Team challenges are fun and motivating at the same time. This can range from the most accumulated Urban Sports Club check-ins per month to the best team photos. There are no limits here – just use your imagination and make sure to reward the winning team accordingly.

Are you ready to take your team spirit to the next level? Then check out Urban Sports Club’s corporate fitness benefit and watch your team flourish.  

Get in touch and let’s discuss the right corporate option for your company. 

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