In a world where everything is reduced to profit margins, the health of employees has become an asset. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.
As an employee, you have the chance to combine work and fitness, with the support of the company (and sometimes, on their money). Of course, the company gets its own benefits by having to pay for fewer sick days and having happier, more productive people on their payroll. At the end of the day, it should be a win-win situation.
Benefits for the Company
To understand why your boss should care about your wellbeing, take a look at the benefits companies reap out of having healthier, happier employees:
- If you can’t make it to work because you’re not feeling well, the level of productivity is decreased. This means fewer opportunities for the company and an overload on the other employees.
- High energy is translated into productivity – after all, how many great ideas can you have when you’re bored out of your mind?
- Good morale is always the driver of productivity and success, so you can understand why your company wants you happy.
- Health insurance is quite costly for companies, and it’s wiser to prevent than to treat (also, cheaper).
- It prevents work accidents due to presenteeism (where you’re there physically, but your mind wonders).
- It’s a way to attract better candidates, from companies that are not as invested in having a motivational work environment.
As you can see, the benefits gather up. But how exactly do companies motivate employees to be healthier?
Providing Fruit / Healthy Foods
Some companies invest in their people’s health by either having a cafeteria where all personnel can have fresh food prepared by professional cooks, or having healthy food delivered to the office. If they can’t offer food, it’s always a nice gesture to have fresh fruit available in the office.
Healthy food is not just a way to keep employees happy; it’s also a fantastic bonding exercise, because everyone gets to feel part of a big (or small) family.
Discounted Gym Memberships or Gym Equipment on Site
Another way to help people keep up their fitness routine is through discounted or fully-paid gym memberships. However, it’s important to not make going to the gym an obligation – not everyone likes being coerced into being fit.
Some of the most desirable workplaces have gym equipment available for their employees to keep fit on the job. Corporate gym equipment is easy to source online, either by hiring or buying directly, but it’s best to have an area in the office dedicated to this activity.
It’s not just about the gym or available equipment; some companies even go the extra mile and offer tailored classes such as Zumba, Spinning, Yoga, and more. This creates diversity and allows people to be engaged with their work environment.
Mentoring Programs, Training & Clubs
Mentoring programs or clubs are nice because they offer a different way to connect people outside of work. After all, not everyone is into going to the gym or sweating during work hours.
By offering the possibility to be a part of something they love and talking with specialized trainers in the niche, the company taps into an inner motivation that can be very powerful and beneficial.
Hosting & Participating in Fitness Challenges
Marathons, power walking sessions, running for a good cause, or simply participating in local sports events can be a fantastic way to get people to try new things and increase their fitness levels. By trying new activities, companies encourage social behaviour and show the world they care about the health of their employees.
Changes in the Office
Companies can also encourage movement in the office by simply placing the printers further away from desks or limiting elevator access. If you’re encouraged to take the stairs, you’ll do a bit of cardio regardless of your disposition that day.
Some companies even go as far as replacing chairs with fitness balls – these promote good posture and keep the muscles of the core in tension – and using treadmill desks.
At the end of the day, promoting a healthy office environment is important for both employers and employees. You shouldn’t care if your boss’s actions are driven by a desire to increase productivity or genuine care for your health – The benefits are real and you should make sure your employer is taking it seriously.