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The Best Way to Increase Employee Engagement

In the search for higher levels of life satisfaction, workplace wellness is a concept that is being increasingly implemented by forward-thinking companies, with its effects being observed and investigated with interest.

This growth in popularity of corporate wellness programmes has been driven by the realisation of the universal benefits of keeping employees healthy and happy – and an integral part of this is exercise.

corporate gym
Increase employee engagement with a Corporate Wellness Programme
Corporate wellness is critical to the future of the workplace

On average, we spend a third of their lives working. And given that we spend another third sleeping, we don’t have much time left over to carry out our other obligations. It’s no surprise, therefore, that so many people struggle to find time to exercise.

When two-thirds of our day is taken up by things we’re obligated to do, whether physically or financially, it’s understandable that we don’t want to spend the free time we do have sweating and straining. When we leave work, our minds are more likely to turn to the shopping or cooking we’ve got to get done in order to put food on the table for dinner, and how we’re going to squeeze in a bit of quality time with the family.

In 2019, we’re generally aware of the benefits of exercise. It helps prevents strokes and many types of cancers, combats high blood pressure, metabolic syndromes, diabetes, and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. It also offers more practical, day-to-day benefits such as improved balance and coordination. But only if we do it regularly.

How can we increase our level of exercise?

The obvious answer is to do it in our spare time. But if we’re supposed to exercise three to four times a week, and we’ve got an average of 8 hours a day left over to do it in, it’s not as simple as it seems. Exercising more than twice a week means that the vast majority of people will be exercising on a workday at least once, and those spare 8 hours soon dwindle when we factor in necessities such as eating, socialising, spending time with family, and relaxing, while all the menial tasks like cleaning, bathing, and shaving add up too!

Another option is to integrate exercise into the other two-thirds of our daily activities. Now, as fantastic as exercise in our sleep sounds, it’s not a feasible possibility for the vast majority of us, otherwise we’d probably all look like the Hulk. Unlike sleeping, exercise isn’t necessarily something that’s going to happen every day. We have to actively find time to fit it in. And many people are finding ways of incorporating it into the activity that takes up most of the day: work.

Nuffield CitiBank corporate gym
Pavigym Extreme S&S flooring at Nuffield CitiBank’s corporate gym installations

We’re still warming up to the idea that exercise benefits us as workers. Companies are slowly coming round to the idea, but we’re still a long way away from the corporate world accepting that time spent by employees exercising is actually beneficial to companies, and in fact greatly increases productivity. Fortunately, a few forward-thinking companies are leading the charge, and we’re starting to see a trend towards exercise facilities being offered to employees as standard, whether on-site or as a corporate gym membership.

Why should you care whether employees exercise?

A manager’s job is to get results out of employees, not keep them fit. So it’s understandable that companies don’t want to shell out on gym facilities – especially ones that employees can only use when they should be working. But the best managers know that desk time does not equal productivity. Given the countless benefits offered by exercise, both personal and professional, and the fact that we know from experience that not everyone is going to have the time or the willpower to take care of themselves, it’s often up to employers to ensure employees are happy and healthy in order to get the best out of them. And the best way to do this is through committing to a corporate wellness programme.

People experience “immediate benefits” following “a single bout of moderate exercise”

Several studies have shown the positive relation between corporate gyms and productivity.

Time lost to exercise during the day is made back and more through improved productivity, mood and cognitive function, better time management and ability to meet deadlines, and higher energy levels.

An exercise routine can give you more energy throughout the day. Most of your cells contain components called mitochondria, often referred to as the cell’s “power plant.” Mitochondria produce the chemical that your body uses as energy, known as ATP. Physical exercise stimulates the development of new mitochondria within your cells, meaning that your body will be able to produce more ATP over time. That gives you more energy to exert yourself physically, but it also means more energy for your brain, boosting your mental output.

Many companies are waking up to these benefits, some offering gym facilities, bike to work schemes, before and after work clubs, or simply the flexibility to block off an hour for exercise. But we’re still a long way away from the implementation of comprehensive corporate wellness schemes, particularly those that involve exercise.

corporate gym
Pavigym PERFORMANCE is perfect for corporate wellness

Fitness classes are perfect for these kinds of workplace wellness schemes, as they rarely last much more than an hour, and allow a work team to exercise intensively during a relatively short block of time. An hour-long class before a half-hour lunch break doesn’t disrupt the working day, while adding untold value to the company.

The key is to schedule the time. Literally write the workout into your calendar – and then hold that appointment as sacred.” Todd Webster, editor-in-chief of IDEA Health & Fitness Association.[1]

PRAMA classes last just 45 minutes and offer an intensive workout for all users, no matter their age or fitness level. With a range of types of classes available, it’s the perfect corporate exercise studio and should be central to any corporate wellness programme.

Fitness classes and workout sessions give employees an opportunity to collaborate in a different setting, while health and wellness goals taps into competitiveness while fostering teamwork and cooperation.

It’s the perfect way to extract all the benefits of regular exercise that we’ve mentioned in an incredibly short time. Lunch-time classes are a great way to stave of the afternoon slump, whereas morning classes get employees pumped up and ready to tackle the day. Alternatively, evening classes at the end of the day don’t disrupt a companies timetable, while providing easy access to gym facilities that employees need. And all you need to do to enjoy these benefits is push play.

PRAMA corporate wellness
PRAMA at Accor HQ
Corporate well-being makes the workplace a place employees want to be

Aside from the immediate benefits offered by regular exercise, it has been shown to noticeably reduce absences in the long term. It also improves sleep, ensuring a well-rested workforce. What’s more, exercising with others is actually more fun. Group classes are a fantastic form of team-building and a great way to strengthen company culture. The opportunity to get the blood pumping alongside co-workers lets staff unwind, have fun, and get to know each other better.

PRAMA puts the fun back into exercise, focusing on a positive experience and a wholesome workout as an alternative to the intimidating environment and competitive culture of traditional gyms.

The community developed through the PRAMA experience complements corporate needs perfectly. At Pavigym, we practice what we preach, and many of our colleagues take the opportunity to use our own PRAMA studio as many times a week as they like.

PRAMA makes the workplace a pleasant place to be

A stronger community and healthy office atmosphere also help combat more than just physical issues, an incredibly important tool when it comes to corporate wellness. A Deloitte survey found that 77% of employees had experienced burnout at their current jobs, despite 87% claiming to have “passion for their job”. And figures show that around 7% of people suffer from serious depression, and 1 in 5 live with a mental illness.

Gazprom corporate gym
Gazprom employees enjoying PRAMA interactive units

So, if you’re in an office with a team of ten, the chances are that two of your colleagues have a mental illness – with one of them being severely depressed. The expansion of wellness programmes is a recommended strategy to combat the mental health issues that constantly affect companies and wider society in general.

“Paperwork and computer work is not something we are adapted for evolutionarily. The goal is to get the mind and body functioning in the best way possible so you can continue to do great work.” Brooklyn Boulders founder and CEO Lance Pinn[2]

Another overlooked benefit of wellness programmes is reduced staff turnover – as well as the pulling power of a work gym. Offering facilities such as a PRAMA studio is proven to motivate employees to stay in their current jobs, and is a major attraction to potential hires. By providing on-site gym facilities, companies show their employees they care and genuinely want them to enjoy their time at work.

This all serves to further motivate a workforce, given that employees perform better when their managers show that they are not solely focused on the bottom line. Studies have shown that employees are likely to withhold performance when they feel that their employers only care about results, leading to reduced productivity and low morale. A good wellness programme is the key to motivated employees and let them know they are valued.

“Supervisors who focus only on profits to the exclusion of caring about other important outcomes, such as employee well-being or environmental or ethical concerns, turn out to be detrimental to employees” Matthew Quade, PhD [3]

It’s not just big companies with corporate wellness schemes that are picking up on the benefits of exercise at work. Autonomous and remote workers and freelancers are opting to work from gyms. The immediate improvement in mood and physical benefits that regular exercise guarantees in just a few short weeks are a huge draw for workers who have the time and flexibility to incorporate it into their schedule. The next logical step is to incorporate exercise into office culture and make it available to every employee.

Pavigym are able provide flooring for any gym project, and we’re always happy to help clients choose the perfect flooring solution for their corporate gym. If you’d like to find out more about the PRAMA concept, you can do so by clicking here. If you have any doubts or questions, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

If you want to see an improved workplace wellness culture, don’t forget to share this article with your colleagues and friends. Step class by step class, we can improve work culture and make corporate well-being a priority for all companies!

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