As hybrid working continues to change the workforce, employers must modernise their benefits offers to suit shift patterns, work locations, and flexible working.
Hybrid working offers plenty of advantages to employer and employee alike, but it comes with unique challenges, not least in supporting employee health and wellbeing. Forward-thinking employers are reimagining what fitness-as-a-benefit looks like for a hybrid workforce so they can continue to support the physical and mental wellbeing of their people – in and out of the office.
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Key risks of sedentary lifestyles when WFH
One of the significant risks associated with working from home is the potential for employees to move less. Without a daily commute and movement around a large workspace, many people find themselves more sedentary. WFH or using coworking spaces can mean less movement, prolonged periods of sitting, and no clear boundary between work and home.
Prolonged sitting has been linked with a host of health issues, including increased risk of obesity, heart disease, back pain, and even mental health issues. Employers have a key role to play in encouraging physical activity amongst their workforce, whether those people work from home, from the office, or on a hybrid model.
Offering fitness as a benefit is a great way for employers to help their staff members get more active. But just as working patterns have changed, so have workout patterns. Research shows that people overwhelmingly want variety and flexibility in their fitness provision, which means single-gym memberships are out, and multi-site access is in. This makes perfect sense when we consider that hybrid workers may need to access a gym near home, near the office, or on the road – and at different times of day depending on their work pattern.
A proactive approach for supporting hybrid workers
Employers who are putting together a fitness employee benefit need to consider the latest data about how people engage with fitness. Gone are the days when simply providing membership to a single local gym (or an onsite office gym) was enough. Hybrid workers need more flexible fitness options to suit the moving parts of their lifestyles.
Flexible fitness offers to bolster mental health – working from home can be isolating, and a good fitness offer not only gets employees moving but provides in-person contact and a sense of community.
Fitness as a benefit to support physical wellbeing – increased physical activity has a wealth of benefits to short and long term physical health. The best employee benefits for fitness are varied, flexible, and offer access to multiple locations.
Supporting work-life balance – it’s a clichéd term, but work/life balance becomes more important when some of your people are working from their homes. Providing a flexible fitness benefit will encourage employees to take breaks, set boundaries, and disconnect after work hours using healthy habits.
Variety and flexibility in a modern fitness employee benefit
It’s essential to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to supporting the wellbeing of a hybrid workforce. As we’ve already said, the outdated model of providing free or discounted access to just one gym simply isn’t enough. Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to engaging with fitness, and hybrid workers in particular need more choice.
Employers need to offer an employee fitness benefit that gives a variety of options and access to different facilities, then let employees choose what works best for them.
This could include flexible gym opening hours, the option to workout at different locations, or the potential for using Personal Training, group fitness, or hybrid training models.
How to modernise your benefit provisions for hybrid working
With hybrid working becoming more prevalent across industries, employers need to examine their employee benefit provisions to be sure they meet the needs of the entire workforce. Fitness and wellbeing is a core benefit that impacts physical health, mental wellbeing, productivity, employee satisfaction, retention and so many other factors.
Creating a fitness benefit that is fit for purpose means going beyond the traditional “discounted gym membership” model, and thinking about how your people want to engage with fitness. When, where, and how do they want to get active? What will get them moving, and what will keep them engaged? How can your fitness benefit offer cater for keen gymgoers and nervous newcomers alike?
The obvious answer is offering a flexible, multi-location model for your fitness employee benefits. The good news is that you don’t have to do all the legwork and create a complicated offer with tons of working parts. Hussle has done it all for you.
Hussle’s membership model gives people access to a network of 1000s of gyms, pools, fitness facilities and leisure centres across the country. As an employer, you can offer your staff Hussle membership as a wellbeing benefit. They then get full or discounted access to a vast range of fitness facilities to suit their schedule, goals, and preferences.
Hybrid working is here to stay, and employers who offer hybrid working need to also offer appropriate access to fitness as an employee benefit. Go beyond ticking the box, and show that you understand the changing needs of hybrid workers.
Find out how Hussle can support you in giving the best corporate gym membership in a package that will foster a healthier, more positive workplace culture across your organisation.