Admittedly, the idea that the health of the employee is also in the interest of the employer is not new. “In the 20th century, oil, coal and steel plants in particular have invested in health care to prevent sick leave and to increase the productivity of their employees,” says Ralf Aigner of Gympass Germany.
The company health management was launched. Many German football clubs have been founded by major chemical companies for the same reason: to keep employees fit and productive.
Today, the majority of the population no longer works on the assembly line in a factory, but at the desk in the office – spending an average of 7.5 hours a day sitting down. A World Health Organization study concluded in 2018 that this lack of exercise has serious health consequences, from overweight to back problems and heart disease.
Fitness programs according to your mood
It is therefore time to raise the issue of well-being in the workplace, says Aigner. As the managing director of the fitness network Gympass, he supports companies in providing their employees with a comprehensive sports program. And one thing that is tailored to the needs and preferences of the employee. “By signing contracts with companies, they offer their employees discounted access to our network of sports and fitness centers, with more than 2,000 in Europe, including around 11,000 in the Gympass network,” says Aigner.
So every employee can choose the right activity for themselves or combine several sports. On request, the employee can go to yoga on Mondays, to the salsa course on Wednesdays, and to the gym on Fridays. “Gympass is like a Netflix subscription to health,” says Aigner. And also cancellable on a monthly basis.
It is precisely this flexibility that appeals to many young people and takes away a major obstacle. “Many fitness facilities offer memberships with a minimum term of one year,” says Aigner. On the other hand, job entrants and young professionals often do not know how long they will be in a location or in a company.
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“You have to offer your employees a certain lifestyle”
At the same time, however, Aigner sees an opportunity for employers: “It’s not enough to guarantee your employees an income, you also have to offer them a certain way of life, and they want to go to work and work with conviction for exactly this company.”
Younger employees, in particular, value this work-life balance and, according to Aigner, are not afraid to take the consequences if this does not happen. Finally, who is good in what he does, could choose in Germany in most industries, the workplace quasi. “Today’s employee wants to feel that his needs count and that his well-being is close to the employer’s heart.”
Small gesture, big impact: The fruit basket in the kitchen
Aigner therefore proposes to hold meetings more often standing still, to integrate small Bewegungsschallenges in the office life, or simply to provide regular fruit in the kitchen to guarantee a balanced diet. The same is true for cold drinks, as many employees do not drink enough during working hours.
In addition, height-adjustable desks or ergonomic office chairs can prevent back problems; The right lighting is gentle on the eyes and regular aerosols help to avoid headaches and difficulty concentrating.
These are all just little things in the office, but these could often make a big difference to the well-being of the employee, says Aigner.
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