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Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs a Staff Gym
As a fitness equipment supplier, it's easy for us to say that every company should have a staff gym. Frankly most people would expect us to say that. However, being surrounded by gym equipment daily allows us to have first hand knowledge of the benefits that a staff gym can bring. Our staff gym has constantly been in use and our employees are exercising more often than ever. The question is; why is that good for us as a business?
This article explains a few of the reasons why your company could save money, become more productive and create a better working environment. All by taking a proactive approach to employee health and fitness.
Staff Gym: Cost Saving
1. Reduce Absenteeism
The first and most obvious cost saving your company could see is a healthier workforce. Simply, people who exercise regularly are generally healthier than those who don’t. As a result of being healthier they are less-susceptible to catching common illnesses. Therefore taking less time off work and saving you money. The Chartered Institute of of Personnel and Development (CIPD) state that: "investing in employee wellbeing can lead to increased resilience, better employee engagement, reduced sickness absence and higher performance and productivity."
2. Reduces Stress
Stress and depression related issues are unfortunately a far too common cause of absence from work. This is especially seen in high pressure business environments. It is medically proven that people who do regular physical exercise have a lower risk of depression and related illnesses.
Working hard 9am-5pm, 5 days a week can be stressful. It is often caused by stress atrophies in the brain especially the hippocampus. This is partly responsible for memory (explaining why you tend to forget things when you’re stressed). Raising the heart rate by exercise increases blood flow and relieves these as well as releasing hormones like norepinephrine into the body that improve mood and brain function.
Staff Gym: Boosts Productivity
There are a whole host of reasons why installing a staff gym can have a positive impact on productivity. We’ve explained our favourites below!
3. Exercise Increases Brain Power
As we mentioned before, exercise can release hormones in the body which improve cognitive function. Research undertaken by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention state that Physical activity can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. All of which boosts productivity and benefits your company's work output.
5. Increase Deep Sleep Time
Another piece of the puzzle that is key to leading a healthy, happy, productive life is sleep. It is well known that deep sleep you get during the night will help fend off stress, sickness and disease. But what people often don’t realise is that exercise can help you make the most of your restorative sleep. The Sleep Foundation state that "moderate to vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing sleep onset – or the time it takes to fall asleep – and decrease the amount of time they lie awake in bed during the night."
6. More Motivated, Happy and Energetic Employees
Exercise science backs up the theory that employees who exercise regularly have more energy when they are at work. They are normally more alert and less likely to be unproductive towards the end of the day or early in the morning because of fatigue. According to the NHS; even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost. These benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.
Having more energy at work, combined with more sleep and improved brain function can kick start a positive cycle whereby employees are in a better frame of mind. Research undertaken by Oxford University found that happy workers are 13% more productive. A stat you really can't afford to ignore!
Company Gym: Improves Work Environment
The general working environment is a major factor in both the success of a company and the satisfaction of its employees. There are a variety of ways in which the presence of a staff gym can positively impact an organisation’s working environment. We have touched on some of these below.
7. Retention & Recruitment
An on-site gym is a key part of the staff benefits programme for many employers. It is seen by many employees as one of the great ‘perks’ of their job.
Regular physical activity could increase job satisfaction and therefore retention, when fitness is integrated into employees work lives. Some companies decide to take it one step further, and encourage exercise within working hours. A Leeds Metropolitan University study found that workers who visited the gym during working hours were more productive. They also managed their time better, and felt more work satisfaction.
The same can be true when trying to attract new employees. The presence of a staff gym or fitness centre can quite easily be the deciding factor for a prospective employee. It’s not uncommon for someone to accept an offer for less money in favour of a positive and healthy work environment. In fact, 60% of people ranked work-life balance as their most important influencer of job satisfaction.
8. Job Satisfaction
Retention is closely linked to the fact that fit and healthy employees, who are performing well and have low levels of stress, can be expected to have fairly high levels of job satisfaction. Obviously satisfaction is impacted upon by other variables. However it’s perfectly fair to make the assumption that healthy, stress-free individuals who are productive, energetic and successful will be fairly content within their job.
9. Team Building
Many fitness experts are adamant that working out as part of a team, or with a partner can make you less likely to quit, more motivated to train and more likely to achieve goals. The gym can be a very social environment, especially where there may be group exercise sessions or in free weights areas where working in pairs is of benefit. It’s likely that a portion of the gym users within your company would adopt this approach and form training groups and partnerships, either within their existing teams or with employees from other departments. This can help improve internal relationships as well as acting as something of a team building exercise.
10. Company Image
Offering staff health and fitness benefits, especially investing in a fitness centre or corporate gym can make a real statement about your company and the value it places on its most valuable asset; people. Investment in staff health and wellbeing can be a popular move internally amongst your staff and can also reflect well on the company if the investment is picked up by industry or local press.
What Can You Do?
The ideal solution would be to build a staff gym as soon as possible, but we know this isn't always a realistic option. Here are some additional ways to get similar improvements in your staff culture:
- Gym membership allowance or partial reimbursement
- Approach existing facilities about a Corporate Membership Scheme
- Healthy lunch programmes that offer discounts on well balanced meals
- Bring someone in to provide free fitness education, such as Excelsior
Once you have a gym or solution, there is a challenge in making sure staff engage with the programme and make best use of the facility. Here are a few of our favourite examples of how you can take the benefits you experience from the staff gym to the next level!
Introduce Some Competition – This could be individual, inter-departmental or even inter-organisational! This can provide some people the extra motivation they need to stick at the gym or to try it for the first time. It also acts as a great team builder.
Extra Lunch Break for Users – As an incentive for people to use the facilities during the working day, you could offer an extra 15 minute break for those who have been working out. As well as providing an incentive to those who may not be likely to train regularly, it breaks down one of the barriers people normally report - Not having enough time to exercise during the day.
Membership Contribution Exemptions - Employees could be asked to make a monthly payment to support the facility that is deductible from their wages. Quite extreme, but on the condition that they make use of the gym twice a week, they could become exempt from this payment. This would reward those who are actively making an effort to improve their health and wellbeing.
Want to Find Out More about Corporate Gyms?
If you're interested in talking about the possibility of installing a fitness facility at your place of work, please get in touch with one of our expert gym designers on 0131 335 3145 or send us an email.
Origin Fitness is one of the UK’s leading independent fitness equipment providers and specialises in providing fully bespoke gym solutions for clients of all sizes with variety of needs and objectives.