With the end of summer quickly drawing near, it’s a perfect time to enjoy the last of the summer sun! One of the benefits of taking your tray to go outdoors is that you can also spend quality time with your colleagues, building stronger friendships as well as better work-related relationships.

One way to introduce sports at work is through a company sports league. You don’t have to look far for examples of this. Just about every workplace already has a team at the office or something similar in the works. But if not then start your own company league and see what happens from there!

The Society for Human Resource Management found that only 16% of companies offer an organizational-sponsored sports team. Even though only a few companies are doing this currently, it’s really not that much of a disadvantage to everyone.

One of the biggest benefits of joining a company sports league is the relationship-building that can take place. When everyone’s on board and working together, morale is high and spirits are contagious. One of the greatest benefits you’ll see among colleagues is a new level of trust.

Gina Mannix, who’s part of the financial management program at GE Capital, is part of her company’s co-ed softball league, which continues to compete against other company teams in the area. 

For two months Mannix has been with the team and says, “It’s a fun way to relieve stress from work.”

These group exercise sessions allow employees to spend some time relaxing at the end of the week, and the exercise itself can help them relieve some of their stress after a difficult working day.

Team sports provide a great opportunity for workmates to talk more confidently and bond over shared interests. ”It’s a good way to network and meet people within the company that you don’t work with on a day-to-day basis,” Mannix says. It’s so interesting to talk to people from different GE teams. I get the chance to speak with them in person instead of over email

Mannix says there aren’t any real downsides to being on a team. While things can sometimes get tense during the game, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as everyone leaves it on the field.

There is still time to organize your coworkers into a team, create a team, and start reaping the benefits if your organization doesn’t already have one.

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