Corporate Wellness is More Important Than Ever
As the strategic relations coordinator for City Fitness Philadelphia, I have several compelling reasons companies should invest in employee wellness. While each reason suits a company differently, the coronavirus crisis has shed light on the need for companies to fully invest in the health of employees.
In the fitness industry, we have read the undeniable research of how and why fitness leads to healthier lives. When employees are healthier physically, mentally and emotionally, they present themselves differently in the work environment. For example, there are improved co-working relationships, increased productivity, better stress management, fewer work-related back pain or postural issues, and many more physiological benefits.
But companies tend to be more interested in hearing about lowered healthcare costs, improved productivity and being viewed as a great place to work when recruiting top talent.
Our role, however, when presenting the idea of corporate wellness is to reveal the reciprocal relationship between the employer and employee. We need to illustrate how a company investing in employee wellness will benefit when employees become more engaged at work. The employer can maintain its own version of homeostasis via a healthier company culture. It’s like a feedback loop, similar to the gut-brain axis.
So, how can we show employers that offering fitness is a necessity in the workplace? No employer can now deny that health and wellness needs to be a top priority. Employees will demand it. While employees are home, they recognize the need for improved individual health. Some are continuing their workouts while others are moving through behavioral change phases, approaching the idea of a more active lifestyle.
These employees want and need exercise, combined with social interaction. As fitness professionals, we know exercise leads to stronger immune systems. This is a time when employers will listen and have greater buy-in to inviting your gym or health club to offer fitness solutions that not only pertain to physical health, but mental and emotional health as well.
The coronavirus situation is positioning gyms and health clubs to look beyond being solely an establishment that people visit to burn calories and break a sweat. As we continue to maintain efforts in building the health of our membership base, we enter a larger role in being architects of health to the greater community in which we are located.
Not only do employees need to feel safe returning to the workplace, they need to feel their health is taken seriously by employers. The facilitation of wellness in the workplace will be more considerate of helping people adopt healthy habits, while productivity and being a great place to work are secondary byproducts that come about.
Corporate wellness will pivot from being an initiative only the top workplaces offer to a necessity that all workplaces must offer. Your gyms or health club’s amenities are the prescription to workplace longevity.