Team-based sports perks are more popular with employees than those enjoyed in isolation, according to research by employee benefits platform Perkbox.
A study of 2,315 UK employees asked respondents to rate a number of employee benefits out of 100. Office sports teams scored higher (89) than birthday days off (86), duvet days (75) and sabbatical opportunities (64).
Chieu Cao, chief managing officer and co-founder of Perkbox, said: “It’s interesting to see that workplace sports teams are rated so highly by UK employees, and how these are proving more popular than more traditional perks enjoyed alone. This highlights a shift in how people want to be rewarded and interact with their team.
Sign up to our newsletters
Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox
“This is especially interesting at a time when a lot of industries involve less face-to-face interaction than ever before. Although workers are more virtually connected and social than before, clearly this making them value real-world connections with their colleagues more than they have previously.”
Almost a third (29%) of employees said they felt workplace sports teams were fun, while a similar percentage (27%) said they were enjoyable.
More than a quarter (27%) of respondents said sports benefits would help them feel more loyal to their organisation, while 20% said these perks would increase their productivity and 18% said they would make them less likely to leave their employer. However, only 5% stated that their workplace offers this kind of benefit.
Cao said: “Successful businesses rely on employees working together cohesively, and these types of team perks really help to make this a reality, as the sense of team and the interpersonal skills they promote will be carried into day-to-day work too.
“This is good news for many employers, because sports-based perks can actually have positive implications for both the workforce and the [organisation] on a broader scale. Sports-based activities improve morale, team-building skills and health and wellbeing.”