The UK workforce is increasingly keen for companies to offer them more team-based perks such as company sports teams, according to new research.
A study of 2,315 UK workers published in the 2018 Great Perk Search Report by Perkbox, the UK’s fastest growing employee benefits platform, shows that employees today are eager for bosses to offer them incentives that they can enjoy with their colleagues, such as sports-based activities.


These workplace benefits are higher prized than more traditional ones which are enjoyed in isolation – sabbatical opportunities (64/100), duvet days (75/100) and free days off for your birthday (85/100) – scoring 75/100 on average.


Of those who are interested in sports-based workplace activities, more than 1 in 7 (15%) said they would enjoy a company fitness challenge undertaken with colleagues, such as a marathon or cycling peloton.
Interestingly, the data revealed how offering these sports benefits can have a clear impact on businesses’ productivity and recruitment costs – 27% said they would feel more loyal to the company, 20% would feel more productive and even 18% said they would be less likely to leave.


And it has a positive impact on the workforce too – more than 1 in 4 (29%) admitted they felt workplace sports teams were fun, as well as quite simply being enjoyable (27%).


Despite the popularity of these kind of benefits and the positive impact they can have on boosting employee engagement and wellbeing, only a small number (5%) revealed their workplace offers a benefit of this nature.


Chieu Cao, CMO & Co-Founder at 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 like duvet days, free days off for your birthday and sabbatical opportunities – all of which are enjoyed alone and not with the rest of the workforce. This highlights a shift in how people want to be rewarded and interact with their team. 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 is making them value real-world connections with their colleagues more than they have previously.


“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 company on a broader scale. Sports-based activities improve morale, team-building skills and health and wellbeing.”