How Getting Out of the Office Could Encourage Employees to Stay Fit and Work Together
June 1, 2017 in Employee Engagement & Resiliency
By Katie Conlon
With summer right around the corner, there’s no better time to be active and get outside. At FMP Consulting, we’re always finding ways to encourage our employees to stay fit and work together as a team. Did you know we even have our own softball team (current record: 2-2)? In addition, each quarter we partner with The Energy Club to host a variety of group fitness classes for FMP employees. From Bootcamp to Boxing, we burn calories and bond outside of our normal hours in the office.
Using fitness activities as a team building strategy is not only a good way to keep employees physically fit, but it can spark higher productivity and more effective communication, in and out of the office. There’s science to prove it; let’s examine how combining these two forces could benefit your workforce.
Get Out of the Office and Into the Gym
There is no denying it; physical activity is good for you. Not only does it control your weight and help combat deadly diseases, but it improves your mood and increases your energy. For those that have a hard time remembering high school science, exercise releases chemicals (endorphins) in the brain and increases blood flow to your brain. This will then make you feel relaxed, less stressed, sharpen your memory, and improve your concentration. Ready to present that next big idea at work? Exercise reduces anxiety and enhances self-esteem. All of these products of exercise can even positively influence your interpersonal connections at work and increase your productivity.
In fact, a recent study showed when employees visited the gym, they reported managing their time more effectively, being more productive with tasks, and having more pleasant interactions with colleagues. Employees also reported leaving work feeling more satisfied. Imagine the change in your work environment when employees leave work productive, pleasant, and fulfilled at the end of the day. Happy and relaxed employees can mean less turnover and more return on your bottom line!
Now, let’s look at the benefits of team building and understand how, similar physical activity, it brings great rewards to your organization.
Start Team Building…NOW!
We’ve all attended a team building activity at some point in our careers. Whether it was a scavenger hunt, a show-and-tell activity, or a ropes course, we know that these activities encourage social bonding. Team building might be one of the most important investments you can make for your employees. It builds trust, increases communication, controls conflict, and encourages collaboration. If team building is done effectively it means more engaged employees, and if your employees are more engaged, they are likely to create a better work product. Also, you could attract future talent interested in your positive work environment.
How do you know your organization is getting the most benefit from team building? Team building is most effective when it’s a recurring activity which keeps the momentum going, allowing employees to connect and interact in meaningful ways outside the regular team interactions. This will allow bonding to occur more organically and less forced. Did you know, team building does not need to occur in the workplace? Team fitness activities, like intramural sport teams, are a great example of team building. Their recurring status allows regular more bonding time for employees outside of the office. These type of activities also provide an organic platform for employees to work together for a common goal (e.g., winning a softball game, completing a boot camp class, or running a race). What if your organization could reap the benefits of both a team building activity and employee physical fitness?
Let’s Put It All Together
We’ve already seen how physical activity can increase productivity and your mood, and we’ve seen how team building can encourage increased engagement. Combining these two methods of thinking could allow your organization realize the benefits of endorphins, while also participating in the activity together. At FMP, Senior Vice President Sherean Miller said that, “Our company fitness classes give us a chance to get to know one another outside of the office. It’s also a great time for employees at different levels of the organization to work together in a different setting – it really breaks down barriers!”
How are you going to incorporate fitness and team building into your organization?
Katie is an Analyst at FMP Consulting with a Master’s in Natural Resource Management and experience delivering a variety of human capital solutions to state and federal government agencies. Outside of the office, she can be found exploring one of the many new restaurants in DC or at the movie theater catching the latest potential Oscar nominee.