As many in the Corridor continue to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, employers are looking for ways to keep them engaged in healthy physical activity and to promote teamwork.
More than 30 companies and not-for-profit organizations registered teams for the second annual Corridor Corporate Games that kicked off virtually on Monday, known this year as the Corporate Games Virtual Challenge.
“The goal of the Corporate Games Virtual Challenge is to continue to provide participating companies with opportunities for positive employee engagement during a difficult time,” said Chuck Long, CEO of the Iowa Sports Foundation. “Physical and mental health is now more important than ever.”
The Corridor Corporate Games is a project of the Iowa Sports Foundation, in partnership with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Area Business Partnership and Iowa City Parks and Recreation.
More than 25 events and competitions are offered through July 30 with teams earning points as their members complete activities. The first event, a nature walk, will run through 10 p.m. on June 7 and can be performed virtually or outdoors on local trails.
Anyone can participate at no cost. Teams are encouraged to bring family, but only games participants will receive points for their company.
Additional events are being offered through area partners such as North Liberty Parks and Recreation and Live Healthy Iowa. Learn-and-earn webinars also are being produced with local subject matter experts.
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Cory Kennedy, Iowa Sports Foundation marketing director, said some events may become in-person activities toward the end of June.
“If and when in-person events can resume, the corporate games intends to continue offering some virtual options for employees to participate,” Kennedy said.
As team members complete events, they log into a website to get credit for their participation. Team standings are based on points accumulated by members.
Jennifer Hildreth, chairwoman of the Workplace Volunteer Council in Cedar Rapids, said the corporate games shifting to virtual events will help employees form teams with their colleagues.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get people together to go out and play kickball or whatever during the work day because we are all so busy,” Hildreth said. “By being a virtual activity, you can do it when and where you have the time.”
Hildreth, marketing and public relations coordinator for ImOn Communications in Cedar Rapids, said working as a team to compete brings employees closer together. ImOn fielded a team for the games in 2019, the first year of competition.
“We are very competitive at ImOn,” she said. “Anything that is competitive, we are all for it — even if it’s against each other. The competition helps motivate you and get you going.”
Kennedy said the corporate games competition originated last year in Des Moines with more than 80 teams. The Iowa Sports Foundation hopes to launch corporate games in the Quad Cities in 2021.