Millennials are changing the way we work, particularly the way we work in offices. The cubical farm is going the way of the Dodo bird, and despite several studies supporting cubicles as a more effective workspace, young working Americans still crave an open office that encourages comfort and amenities.
No one is more famous for this than Google. The search engine giant spends millions of dollars on “Googleplex,” its home office in Mountain View, CA, to keep employees happy while they work long hours. This includes free cafes, laundry service, nap rooms, and lots of athletic activities like gyms and basketball courts.
Most companies don’t have millions to spend on pleasing employees, and the good news is that it doesn’t take millions. Implementing sports and athletics into your office space is at worst affordable and at best free, and every bit goes a long way to develop happy, loyal employees.
This is the most common way to bring the team together over sports. Nearly every public sports complex in America has co-ed leagues available in all ranges of skill and competition. Softball teams are great for bonding and team building while getting a decent workout on the field. If you work for a bigger office, or want to make sure everyone’s included, form two teams — competitive and non-competitive (just for fun).
Cost: League fees and uniforms (a few hundred dollars total)
To some people, college basketball is a religion. To others, it’s something fun to tune into around March, when the NCAA Tournament is in full swing. 68 Division I teams are selected for the massive month-long tournament, and even more fun than watching the games is filling out brackets and predicting winners.
Get an office pool together, the cost per bracket doesn’t matter but keep it affordable, and both fans and non-fans will pour in. Sweeten the deal even more by matching the pot to give the winner(s) an extra payout. This can keep the mood around the workspace light and fun when everyone is usually hard at work.
Cost: None (unless you match the pot)
If it’s in your budget, take the team out to a ballgame during the day (the point is to get them out of the office during normal hours). There’s nothing better than a great game on a sunny day, and your employees will appreciate the investment you’re making in such a large outing.
If you live in Arizona or Florida, games are even more affordable if you take everyone to spring training, which usually costs less than $20 per ticket if you go to a mid-week game. Like a softball team, this is a great way for the team to bond outside the office.
Costs: Varies depending on team size, game, and seats, but can run very high
Break areas are usually bland and boring, so give workers something fun during their lunch hour. This is the most effortless of the list and still very affordable. Simply set up a TV, buy a sports package, and let it run.
There might be concern of abuse, but don’t punish a whole office for what a few might do. And remember, this is also a big sign of trust — it tells everyone who works for you that you know they’ll handle sports in the break room responsibly and not waste away work hours glued to the TV.
Costs: TV, mounting, and a sports package
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