Days pass and seasons change, but our dedication to innovative employee engagement remains unwavering. At viperks, we have witnessed employee solutions that push the boundaries of creativity. Each month we’ll highlight one unique employee engagement idea as our “Perk of the Month.” Think of it as a free monthly subscription to the best corporate perks around. For October: Bring Fitness to the Office.
Employers, take your pick: Do you want to be part of the solution or the problem?
When the obesity epidemic goes to trial in the court of public opinion, overeating and lack of exercise are obvious culprits. So too, though, is our career-driven society. Many hold today’s workplace environment – marked by constant stress and sedentary office work – equally responsible for the U.S. obesity rate ballooning to more than one-third of all adults.
Rather than dispute this claim, astute employers strive to be part of the solution to our nation’s weight crisis. According to Havard Business Review, 57 percent of people with high health risk reached low-risk status by completing a worksite cardiac rehabilitation and exercise program.
Employee well-being is paramount to creating a productive workplace, and healthy employees cost a company less. HBR found that Johnson & Johnson’s wellness programs cumulatively saved the company $250 million during the course of a recent decade – and generated a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent.
But just because your company lacks the space and financial resources to house rows of treadmills and elliptical machines doesn’t mean your employees’ collective fitness level needs to suffer. Here are four strategies for creating employee perks that promote well-being, health and fitness:
Treat Employees to a Gym Membership
The centerpiece of an employee wellness plan involves incentivizing your staff to make use of a fitness center. Find a gym in close proximity to your office and seek a bulk discount in the form of a customized corporate membership program.
If it’s not financially feasible to furnish membership for your employees, consider subsidizing their gym expense. Better yet, offer a partial membership fee reimbursement to reward employees who utilize the gym at least 12 times per month. And keep in mind that tax incentives often exist for business owners who cover gym memberships for their employees.
Provide On-Site Yoga Classes
Even if your workplace lacks space for a workout facility, chances are you can convert a conference room into a temporary yoga spot. Many yoga companies and instructors now offer services whereby they bring this stress-reducing physical fitness to your office.
No workout clothes and no mat? No problem. Some yoga offerers teach 30-minute introductory classes that don’t require a mat nor employees to changes out of their work clothes, meaning your staff can de-stress during lunch break. Or you can plan a company-wide yoga event. While some yoga companies charge a flat fee per session (regardless of the number of participants), others offer longterm contracts that include discounts.
Become a Bicycle-Friendly Workplace
Bicycling is fun, but it never hurts to motivate your employees to ride rather than drive to work. A bicycle-friendly corporate culture doesn’t happen by accident, but rather by recognizing the employee wellness benefits associated with riding and encouraging your staff to commute by bike.
The following initiatives and employee perks can cultivate workplace bicycle riding:
- Form a company-wide bicycle club
- Furnish bicycle parking for employees
- Provide bicycling employees with adequate facilities and time to shower or freshen-up upon arrival at work
- Pass along savings from parking expenses to bicycling employees
Bring Massage Therapy to Your Office
Few relaxation strategies can match the benefits afforded by a professional massage. Schedule regular office visits from a massage therapist, particularly during your employees’ most stressful periods.
The employee well-being advantages associated with a massage are numerous: Reducing anxiety, increasing range of motion, lessening muscle tension, improving circulation and treating carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s the perfect preventative medicine to combat long days sitting in front of a computer screen.
At viperks, we exercise the right to help our customers improve employee appreciation and engagement, which ultimately increases discretionary effort and workplace productivity. In the treadmill of life, we opt to accelerate speed and distance while avoiding the temptation brought on by the big red “Stop” button.
Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.