It’s tough to find a silver lining amid a global pandemic, but here’s one. Employers across the United States report productivity increased sharply during 2020’s WFH reboot of the corporate workplace. For those lucky enough to be at their dining rooms and home offices, thanks to zero commute times and a lack of distractions from coworkers, productivity climbed to 47 percent (according to an early pandemic survey by Prodoscore.) Now one other popular part of the workplace is undergoing rapid change – the employee fitness center. As companies begin to commit to long term hybrid models – with some team members at work and many at home – the workplace gym is set to become increasingly virtual and mobile. If you’re an employer here’s what you need to know to prepare for, and get the most out of, the trend while keeping your employees healthy wherever they work.
Employers continuing to invest in employee health
If you’ve considered investing more in workplace fitness you are definitely not alone. And with good reason. Simply giving employees the tools they need to stay fit and healthy is the right thing to do for your team and your business as it helps your employees get up from their desks, burn some calories and stretch and rejuvenate during breaks and lunch hours But just as critically, it enables insurance providers to give steep premium discounts on your healthcare costs. The trend isn’t going away anytime soon. In the 2021 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report by Wellable, 42 percent of employers plan to invest the same in employee health and wellness, while a further 37 percent have earmarked increased investment budget. Overall 92 percent of companies plan to expand their wellness services in some way this coming year.
Embracing the hybrid work gym
We are entering the next evolutionary stage of the workplace fitness facility. What started out as a room with a treadmill in the 1980s morphed over the last few years into cardio-equipment- rich centers with in-studio digital displays for employees to find workouts to suit their break or lunchtime needs. But with the impact of work from home models and many businesses saying at least some, or a lot, of their workforce will continue to work remotely in the future, many companies are beginning to embrace the virtual gym. Thanks to tools like FLEX from FitnessOnDemand, any employee with nothing more than a stable internet connection can now access hundreds of hours of streaming instructor-led classes, specialty workouts, stretches and – increasingly popular – mindfulness and meditation content. All content can be streamed at home, on the go or in the workplace fitness center, providing total convenience for employees who may work from home some, or all, of their workweek.
Digital Fitness Savings
While employee fitness can lower your insurance premium overheads, digital fitness can also create significant dollar and time savings too. Buying a finite number of treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes is a great benefit for on-site employees, but those machines immediately start depreciating the moment they’re installed, maintenance is required annually, and you’re limited in terms of the number of employees who can access them at peak times like lunchtime. Consider a more digital-led fitness facility where on-site equipment needs might mean nothing more than a space with free weights where employees can stream classes to their devices, plus an always-on library of digital HIIT, core-strength and other workouts for an exponentially larger number of WFH employees.
Not Just for Big Corporations Anymore
When it comes to the new era of employee fitness, you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 or Silicon Valley tech giant to offer the very best fitness offerings to your employees anymore. Getting started with a digital, on-demand fitness package takes hours or days compared to the weeks or months of starting or developing an on-site fitness facility. If you’re interested in an on-site digital offering for employees and/or Fitness OnDemand’s streaming portfolio of 1,000 classes and specialty workouts, talk with a member of our team today to get a custom consult started for your business.