Offering corporate sports activities has its share of advantages. The approach makes it possible in particular to develop internal cohesion, improve the productivity of employees, but also to act on their well-being in general.
Sport in the workplace: a practice that is becoming more democratic
The survey “Inventory, obstacles and levers to the development of the practice of sport in the workplace. Employee-manager mirror study, conducted in 2018, highlights several lessons. To start, 14% of managers say that their company offers physical and sports activities to employees, a figure that rises to 40% in large companies but falls to 4% for VSEs. Even though 94% of employees say they appreciate the approach, 75% of managers say that their company does not offer physical activity and that it is not planned. The lack of suitable infrastructure seems to be the main reason, but the cost is also the cause.
However, an important step has recently been taken. Indeed, the rules of liability to social contributions for the benefit constituted by the provision of access to sports equipment or sports lessons were relaxed by the government in December 2019. The Think & Do Tank “Vitalité, Sport & Entreprise” also thought about several possibilities to develop sport in the workplace on a larger scale. For example, it is relevant to co-construct the project with employees so that they adhere to it more easily, to find ambassadors within the company to help it communicate better, or even to pool infrastructures.
In any case, the theme is destined to gain momentum in the future, for multiple reasons, ranging from need to prevent chronic diseases with obvious aspirations of younger generations. It is also a wish on the part of many employees who, after months of teleworking, wish to be able to continue to reconcile professional and personal life.
What types of sports activities to offer?
Sport in the company not only includes the practice of a sport within the establishment itself (yoga, fitness, boxing or muscle strengthening classes given during the lunch break or in the evening, provision of sports equipment in the premises…), but also sports activities organized outside the company. For example, managers can organize football, table tennis or basketball tournaments between the different departments, or submit the idea of collective registration for a sporting event, such as a race. Finally, the employer can simply offer financial participation in sports activities for employees and their families (subscription to a gym, preferential rates, etc.).
Sport in the workplace: benefits at all costs
If the beneficial effects of sport in general no longer need to be demonstrated (reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.), practicing a sport at your workplace is a factor of well-being for the employee. Indeed, sport allows you to decompress, to be less stressed and to evolve at work in a more relaxed atmosphere. In addition, engaging in physical activity with colleagues strengthens team bonds, promotes mutual aid, cohesion and group spirit. Besides that, thanks to sport, employees and their managers are on an equal footing. Discipline erases inequalities, both social and hierarchical, and newcomers are more easily integrated.
The benefits are no less for employers. According to experts, integrating sport into its strategy allows a company increase employee productivity, reduce absenteeism and therefore, ultimately, improve profitability. Moreover, for a company, showing that its employees can practice a sport at work can only improve its image and therefore strengthen its employer brand. This naturally attracts qualified talents who are sensitive to the issue of well-being at work.
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