Here in the office of Formstack, we work hard just like every small business out there. From development all the way to support, we are always working on something new and fresh to bring to our customers. In such a small, tight-knit company, we need a way to bond and laugh together in order to work well as team members. While other companies may have family picnics, company dinners, or other social parties, here at Formstack we play Ping-Pong.
Our games can be quite intense and sweaty as we don’t just play any average game of Ping-Pong. We have two different versions of the game with their own unique sets of rules and competition: Power Struggle and Volley-Pong. Both games involve the whole team in one way or another and being a champion has several perks – honored with pride and praise (and often gets to choose where we go to lunch!).
Why do we do it? Ping-Pong might seem like a silly waste of time to some companies, but actually there are a lot of benefits the game can have to a business and its employees.
- Team Building– Playing a great game of Ping-Pong isn’t just about defeating your competition in an embarrassing-like manner. Playing in-office tournaments and battles is a good way for co-workers to get to know one another, which helps employees feel more comfortable in the business setting. Business runs smoother when co-workers have a general respect and appreciation for one another, and Ping-Pong helps attribute to these behaviors. Also, the communication between teammates, provided by the competition in Ping-Pong, forces a connection between players that –like all sports- brings people together. For Formstack, Ping-Pong has been an outlet for us to grow closer as a team and be able to communicate better.
- Stress Relieving– Let’s face it. Work can be very tedious and stressful at times. Playing ping-pong during lunch or at an afternoon break with others is a fun way to relieve stress. For us, work seems way less daunting when there is a tournament going on in the afternoon. The game puts smiles on the faces of our team and brightens up the workday. In such a small, but innovative company, communication and idea sharing are critical to success. Ping-Pong helps us do both of these things better while having fun at the same time.
- Staying Active– Everyone knows that sitting all day staring at a computer isn’t healthy on our minds or bodies. Ping-Pong gets us up out of our chairs, and gets the blood and oxygen flowing into our brains, which is why our Power Struggles are perfect for keeping our minds active for formulating ideas and working on projects.
- Networking– Ping-Pong games are now going corporate. Companies throughout the U.S. are getting together for national ping-pong tournaments, and even using the sport as a networking tool for corporate events. Although Formstack has yet to take our battles out into the public, I doubt the team would mind taking its talents to the streets. (By the way, if you’re in the area, keep September 22nd open. We’re hosting a Ping-Pong tourney. Details coming soon!)
So give it a try! And don’t worry if Ping-Pong isn’t really your thing, there are lots of other games out there that a company can play to implement all of these benefits. We won’t hold it against you- it can get a little rough. At the end of the day someone often leaves for home smelling like a dirty gym bag, but if reigning as the best Volley-Pong team at Formstack-well, then it’s well worth it!