The old adage that a happy workforce is a productive one is a business philosophy that still rings true today, perhaps more than ever.
At a time when employees are often faced with increasingly tight deadlines and managers are tasked with getting more from limited budgets or personnel, every aspect of working practice is being evaluated by HR professionals to see what might yield better results.
There is certainly a changing perception among HR professionals about how this can be achieved.
A piece of research we published in June 2013 into how to boost productivity found that 52% of HR professionals felt that allowing employees to take gym or exercise breaks during work hours, along with providing healthy food, could make for happier, healthier and ultimately more productive employees.
As much as sport, exercise and other social activities are about improving the satisfaction and general happiness of individual employees, they are also about fostering teamwork. At its best, sport is one of the most unifying activities there is; you only have to witness a stadium full of people joining together to cheer on their team to experience it.
Similarly, sport and other social activities can be used to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and team spirit, which can be brought back to the workplace, helping to boost morale, productivity and results.
Stephen Menko is a director of HR recruiter Ortus