Perhaps your employees spend much of their time just seated behind their desks working on their computers. It might not seem so but this sedentary behavior could have a lot of unfavorable effects on their overall health.
Even though it is the responsibility of every employee to look after their health, as an employer, you should have a vested interest in encouraging fitness among your employees.
One effective way of achieving this is through investing in a corporate gym.
Below are some of the key benefits of having a gym in the workplace.
Retention and recruitment of employees
Employees usually view on-site gyms as one of the great bonuses of their jobs. Employers, on the other hand, view work gym as a retention tool because employees may reason that it is a benefit they don‘t want to lose and hence stay working for the same employer.
Think of it this way, when employees who have been part of a workplace fitness program feel better about themselves both physically and mentally, leaving the job would be rather unusual unless other factors are involved.
A corporate gym is also a great tool for attracting prospective employees! The presence of a fitness center could be the deciding factor for a potential employee torn between two job offers.
Reduce health care costs
A healthcare cover is usually one of the most important things in an employment contract. A significant chunk of the company’s money is invested in this area.
Employees who work out regularly can save their employers major costs. Through offering health and fitness benefits such as gym memberships to employees, companies get reduce the cost incurred on healthcare. It is in the company’s best interest to make sure that employees are taking care of their health.
Lower cases of absenteeism
One of the top reasons employers stress on fitness in the workplace is to reduce absenteeism cases. Exercising regularly keeps an individual healthy and they become less and less vulnerable to common sicknesses.
This means that they get to spend more time at work and do exactly what they were employed to do! Remember, for a company or business to succeed, a healthy workforce is key.
It has been found that one of the top causes of absenteeism at work is depression and stress, especially for those working in high-pressure business surroundings.
Science has proven that working 9 to 5, five days of the week causes tremendous stress. One way of reducing this stress is through going to the gym. Working out increases your heart rate, improves blood flow, and relieves stress.
It prompts the body to produce hormones such as norepinephrine that help in proper functioning of the brain, which eventually improves mood. In fact, according to some recent studies, relieving stress is one of the top reasons as to why people visit the gym.
Increased brain function
As mentioned earlier, working out prompts the release of hormones in the body that improve cognitive function.
Scientists have proven that exercising regularly produces more of the chemicals needed by the brain to conduct functions such as problem-solving, multi-tasking and memory.
A study conducted by Aviva shows that investing in the health and fitness of employees increases attendance and that almost 90% of the companies that practiced this also experienced an increase in productivity.
Additionally, a certain Swedish research even found out that a group who dedicates 2.5 hours per week of work time to physical training could yield similar productivity levels as a group that continues working for 2.5 hours more.
Often overlooked by most is the value of a good night’s sleep. Good sleep is an important aspect needed for a healthy, happy and productive life.
Several researchers have proven that deep sleep assists you to ward off depression, stress, and sicknesses. Some individuals, however, do not understand how sleep is linked to working out.
Exercise is useful in stabilizing sleep patterns. In fact, exercises of moderate intensity have helped insomnia patients sleep better.
A more motivated, energetic and happy workforce
Once again, science supports the theory that employees who work out regularly are more energetic at work.
Such individuals are usually more attentive and are less likely to be unproductive early in the morning or towards the end of the day because of exhaustion.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), even a single fifteen-minute walk can boost your energy, and the benefits increase with more regular physical activity.
Being more energetic at the workplace combined with better sleep and enhanced brain power could inspire a positive cycle whereby an employee is motivated to better their performance.
Research also found that there is a causal connection between productivity and happiness; a group of happier employees was found to be 12% more productive than the control group.
According to fitness experts, working in a team makes an employee more energetic to work out, less likely to give up, and highly motivated to meet their goals.
The gym could be a social environment, particularly in free weight areas whereby working in pairs is advised or during group exercise sessions.
It is possible that a fraction of the gym users would pick up this approach and come up with partnerships and training groups that would benefit the workplace. This could also improve internal relationships within the company.
When employees are fit and healthy, less stressful, and are performing well at their jobs, they might have increased levels of appreciation.
Job satisfaction can be impacted by other factors too but it is acceptable to assume healthy, calm and happy individuals are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
Having a gym at the workplace can greatly improve how a company operates and how its staff members generally feel about working there.
Apart from retaining employees and reducing health care costs, corporate gyms also play a huge role in stress reduction and team building among other benefits. The long-term benefits will certainly outweigh the initial investment cost.