The NFL season kicks-off on Thursday, September 7, when the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. With the start of the NFL season comes fantasy football. More than 33 million people will play fantasy football, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Coworkers may join a fantasy football league where they pick virtual teams to play against one another. Whether or not it’s a company-organized event, research has shown that fantasy football leagues can boost employee morale.
Employee morale is a business imperative for most companies. Seventy percent of U.S. workers aren’t engaged at work, according to a Gallup Poll. To that end, office activities that foster employee camaraderie, such as fantasy football, can play an important role in improving employee engagement. In fact, workplace friendships can boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent, also reported by a Gallup Poll.
Here are three Quality of Lifehacks to build office camaraderie:
1: Encourage real lunch breaks: Over 60 percent of employees regularly eat lunch at their desk. This impacts employee health – as eating at your desk leads to increased calorie consumption – and employee engagement. Research shows that eating lunch with coworkers improves morale and productivity. It behooves companies to encourage employees to eat away from their desk and to eat together.
2: Organize employee volunteer events: There are a number of benefits of company-organized volunteering events. It’s an opportunity for a business to give back to the community. It can build a company’s brand or reputation. It can also improve employee engagement. In fact, millennial employees who participate in a company’s volunteer event are more than twice as likely to rate their work culture as “very positive,” compared to those who don’t volunteer, according to Deloitte.
3: Incorporate “playtime” at work: Does your office have a table tennis or foosball table? How about a video game console, such as a Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation? All can build employee morale. “When employees have the opportunity to play, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale,” said Stuart Brown, MD, psychiatrist and founder of the National Institute for Play. Research indicates employees who have fun at work have lower absenteeism rates and lessen stress. To incorporate playtime, workplaces can add games like billiards, foosball or table tennis. More simply, they can organize events that don’t require any physical space or equipment, such as ice cream socials, trivia games, etc.
These are just three activities to build camaraderie at work. What activities does your workplace do to build camaraderie?