When it comes to employee job satisfaction and well-being, a focus on physical and mental wellness at work isn’t just nice to have, it’s becoming non-negotiable.
Companies doing it right are taking a holistic approach to employment by developing an environment that promotes healthy living, physical fitness, camaraderie, and mental health. This includes facilitating physical health with an on-site means to physical fitness, such as a corporate gym.
Consider the following reasons why companies should offer a corporate gym:
- Healthy Employees and Healthy People
The investment in the well-being of human capital has never been more important. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the worldwide obesity rate has nearly doubled since 1980, and the obesity rate in the U.S. climbed during COVID increasing by 3% between March 2020 and March 2021. Further, an estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Both in terms of mental and physical health, humanity is deteriorating, and employers can play an important role in reversing this.
- Millennial and Gen Z Demand
Consider that a majority of Millennial and Gen Z employees are actively seeking lifestyle choices that prioritize health and happiness. Offering a variety of fitness and wellness-based options that are flexible for employees spending long hours at the office makes good sense.
- Competitive in Sourcing the Best Talent
Securing the best talent for your company requires offering a highly desirable culture and environment. Gone are the days of sitting in a cubicle all day. The workforce is demanding interactive and dynamic areas to convene, camaraderie, and a focus on physical and mental health. Not offering these benefits can put a company at a disadvantage when it comes to staff recruitment and retention.
The challenge then becomes, how to design for all of this.
When integrating a corporate fitness facility into a workplace, there are design considerations that are very different than those that come with designing a health club or stand-alone fitness studio. Several factors should be taken into account to ensure it meets the needs of employees effectively. Here are some considerations:
Consider the number of individuals who will have access to the gym as well as the estimated usage. For example, if employees are hybrid this means fewer employees at any given time will be using the space and may warrant a smaller footprint and different configuration. Also, corporate gyms tend to be used at three major times of day, so the design, flow and equipment placement need to accommodate for influxes of people before work, at lunch and right after work.
Always consider what is next door, below and above the space when designing a corporate gym. If the gym is situated under or over a conference room or offices, sound and vibrations become a significant consideration and will affect equipment choice, equipment placement and more.
Corporate gyms provide a refuge from long hours at a desk and the opportunity to recharge, so incorporating amenities and assets to facilitate this is a smart touch. Infrared saunas, personal training or group classes, and golf simulators are all good choices. Even lighting and color choices can make a difference when it comes to mood and energy level.
Another effective way to rejuvenate is fresh air and open spaces. Consider turning an outside area into an adult playground with unique equipment that facilitates camaraderie and movement.
When employees step away from their desks at lunch or squeeze a workout in before or after work, timing is of the essence. The workout needs to be efficient.
Digital guidance is an excellent option for shorter workouts. The ability to walk up to a screen and pick a workout anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes allows employees not to have to think about how they are going to get a great workout in a short amount of time. Doing a 30-minute digitally guided boxing or barre class might also bring that employee more enjoyment than simply walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Corporate gyms have a lot of opportunities for branding. Details such as the company logo can be added to equipment or flooring, the company mission can be incorporated into the wall art and special colors can be chosen for upholstery or shrouds.
There are many considerations when designing a fitness facility that meets the demands of your workforce, including employee capacity, acoustics, a place to recharge, efficiency and opportunities for company branding. Consider the expertise of a Functional Design Specialist at FitnessDesignGroup.