We are all well -aware of the physical and mental benefits of exercise. The NHS states that regular exercise ‘can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%’ The message to get us up and moving is everywhere; advertisements, social media, healthcare environments, friends, family all telling us to get more exercise. But, still many of us still fail to engage in even small amounts of physical activity on a daily basis.
Now, in recent years a new voice is emerging, and becoming ever louder in the fight for our health and wellbeing – our place of work. Many companies are now offering gym memberships, group sporting activities and outdoor events to encourage employees to look after their total health, in a bid to have a healthier and happier workforce.
Some companies are even encouraging colleagues to train together during the working day. Here at SearchBI we do just that. Every member of staff is given a full paid gym membership as part of their employment contract (this is optional of course!) and every lunch time off we go to the gym together to train as a team. Now, I know what some of you are thinking ‘wow that’s great!’ but I can guarantee the majority are thinking “That sounds dreadful!’ and ‘I couldn’t think of anything worse’ but before you make up your mind completely, keep reading about why SearchBI staff feel this is an incredibly valuable asset to their work life. Some of the benefits may surprise you…
When asked why he decided to implement a gym training session into the working day (he is always training along with the team), our Company Director Richard Deas said the following:
“Working in a competitive sales environment a solid team mentality is a fantastic way to build success.
We have found that encouraging group exercise or activities is a great way to build a close-knit team and gain that squad mentality.
Blowing off steam with exercise is also a useful tool in stressful or high -pressure environments. Rather than smashing your keyboard, throw some weights around, get those endorphins flowing and get back to your day with a clear head and focused on the tasks at hand.”
So, we asked the team what they thought the benefits of workplace exercise were and here’s what they came back with:
- This was the number one answer given by staff – exercising during the working day saves time! Many employees have long commutes and families so just don’t have the time or energy to exercise before or after work. They want to spend their time at home with their friends and families, so going to the gym for an hour or longer every day just isn’t an option. Working out during the working day means that they get their daily exercise and their homelife isn’t disturbed.
- Creates a strong team bond. Taking time to work out with colleagues helps the team to get to know each other better. This social interaction builds better bonds and a stronger team spirit leading to better working relationships. Supporting and encouraging each other to achieve something outside of the work narrative creates the bonds of friendship and trust resulting in an exceptional team.
- More productive. Many people feel that mid- afternoon slump. You’re tired, eaten a heavy lunch and spent your lunch break scrolling through your phone, and you’re now on the long countdown to home time. Our staff said the introduction of lunch time exercise has eradicated this lull entirely. They come back to their desks energised and ready to work. This increase in energy levels leads to an increase in afternoon productivity, rather than an afternoon of clock watching.
- De-stress. Many jobs now are incredibly high pressured and being a recruitment firm SearchBI staff know this pressure all too well, one member of staff described his day as ‘constantly firefighting’. Pressure from clients and candidates can build up causing staff to feel incredibly stressed. They felt that this time out in the gym to focus on something else was a great mindfulness tool. Giving their minds a break enabled them to come back to work with a clearer idea of how to tackle their day and any pending issues. It was a great way to de-stress and reset their minds ready for the afternoon.
- Relieves workplace tension. Some staff members felt that training with their colleagues was a great way of clearing the air after any tensions or disagreements that may have occured in the office. It can be hard to avoid the occasional clash with a colleague when working in a high- pressure environment, tensions will inevitably become high and disagreements and even arguments will follow. They felt that once they were out of the office environment and training together the conversation soon moved to things outside of work and the tensions between them very quickly cleared. They were then able to return to work at ease with one another.
As you can see there are many benefits to workplace exercise. Male, female, whatever your fitness level this can be a wonderful mindfulness and bonding tool for staff as well as improving physical fitness and health.
Do you think this would be successful in your place of work? Let us know your thoughts in the social media comments section. We’d love to hear from you.