LIFE LESSONS COME FROM ALL PLACES—EVEN UNEXPECTED PLACES, LIKE THE PICKLEBALL COURT.
The COVID pandemic disrupted the traditional office environment for most businesses, as millions of people across the world were (and are still) working remotely. As many companies are going back to the office, the majority of workers are resistant, as, according to Morning Consult, 86% of the current remote workforce enjoys working from home. Plus, 78% of this current remote workforce believes that they are more productive from home, rather than being in the office (which is likely the result of less water cooler chit-chat and no commute). Although productivity is up, companies face new challenges in establishing company culture with both new and long-time employees who may not be in the office.
The question becomes… could the sport of pickleball help bring companies together, although employees are remote, and cultivate culture? Let us explain…
Pickleball Culture to Workplace Culture
This past week, a first-year employee of an Inc. 5000 company invited a couple coworkers (as well as us at Pickler) to hit the pickleball court after work. The news of post-work pickleball quickly spread, leading to not just 2 coworkers, but 12 coworkers (or about 10% of the office)—all who have never played pickleball before—heading to the local pickleball courts to play after work.
Although most of these coworkers have returned to the office for work, a few included employees that work remotely, which offered a chance to interact with those working from home. The result from the 2-hour session was (i) a lot of laughs, (ii) a lot of interaction (as the teams were constantly mixing), (iii) team building that will carry back to the workplace, and (iv) once the group picture from the courts was shared around the Slack universe of the office, a lot of jealous coworkers that want to hit the pickleball courts next time. In fact, there were even some discussions of setting a weekly pickleball time for all those that wanted to join in any given week.
The sport of pickleball has a unique culture, as well as unique characteristics that make pickleball a prime culture-building activity. Anyone can jump on a pickleball court (including this group of coworkers that have never played before), learn the basics, get a rally going, and have a laugh. Plus, the social aspects of the sport (including the small court size) lend itself toward interaction—and, in this case, quality interaction with coworkers.
If you are an employer or employee, and are looking for ways to build culture and camaraderie amongst your team—especially where some employees may be working locally, but remotely—consider hitting the pickleball courts. You may be surprised at how playing pickleball together will translate to the workplace—for instance, teamwork, communication, trust, and just getting to know each other in a less stressful environment. Plus, since pickleball can be played outside, it is a pretty COVID-friendly option to bring your team together.
Yet another benefit to the sport of pickleball that extends beyond the pickleball court…
LESSONS FROM THE PICKLEBALL COURT
Read past blogs from the "Lessons from the Pickleball Court" series:
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Integrity Is Everything
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Go Down Swinging
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Read the Room (or the Pickleball Court)
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Always Be Prepared
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Referees Are Impactful
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Never Judge a “Pickleball Book” by Its Cover
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Encourage the Kids to Play
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Learn to Share “Small Spaces”
- Lessons from the Pickleball Court: Strangers Become Quick Friends
What lesson have you learned from the sport of pickleball? Share with us in the comments below, or reach out to me personally via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.