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July 22, 2020
Brad Jamison

Staying healthy at home: why fitness perks for remote workers are necessary

Completing goals together is what makes remote teams so amazing. Whether your team is going the extra mile in providing quality client services or racing past that extra mile on the treadmill at home, there's never been a more critical time to recognize the value of employee contributions.

Completing goals together is what makes remote teams so amazing. Whether your team is going the extra mile in providing quality client services or racing past that extra mile on the treadmill at home, there's never been a more critical time to recognize the value of employee contributions.

One of the best ways companies can show appreciation is by supporting health and fitness in the workplace. Many of the most successful and profitable businesses offer on-site gyms and corporate health initiatives designed to encourage employee wellness. Remote offices face a unique opportunity in providing the same incentives to a globally diverse staff, by offer home fitness perks.

The advent of COVID-19 has not only caused a dramatic increase in #WorkingFromHome, but led to the closure of most neighborhood gyms and limited access to parks, group fitness classes, and all the healthy living habits that get us through the workweek. Even with the gradual reopening underway, many are not yet comfortable returning to "normal" when it comes to burning those COVID calories and starting a new exercise regimen. Luckily, there are ways businesses can help their staff stay healthy and fit from home. 

Whether your dream team has just transitioned to a remote environment or your company has been paving the way for a successful virtual office model, it's time to take a closer look at the benefit of providing employee wellness programs and incentives. We’ll also offer a few creative ways to deliver fantastic home fitness perks to your team without the gym.

Race to success

Modern professionals are an innovative, driven, dynamic force that's always striving for more. These competitive workers aren't after coffee and doughnuts; they're looking for a thriving corporate culture that's willing to invest in their success. A recent study of active business structures found that having a great company culture is no longer merely a perk -- it's a must for attracting fantastic talent. Today's executives strive for a healthy work environment as much as they contemplate salary and benefits.

Topping the list for most sought after benefits is workplace wellness. Not just any wellness program fits the bill; employees are looking for supportive, empowering management that goes beyond a complimentary yoga session or two. Your team consists of remarkable individuals who want to feel valued. Don't be afraid to open up and ask how they're doing. Offer your time and energy to check in on your staff's wellness, both as a group and individually. Take a moment to ask what could make their professional life better, more stress-free, and overall more successful, then implement perks that are just as unique and customizable.

Professionals prioritize their health, both mental and physical, and seek out companies that support a fitness-focused, work-life balance as opposed to a traditional 9 to 5 desk job. This trend is a win-win for companies as well as their teams. Studies show that workplace wellness initiatives increase productivity and boost overall employee happiness, leading to improved job satisfaction and long term retention of key members. Prioritizing health may even help companies reduce their health care costs at a staggering average of $3.72 for each dollar invested.

As for the staff themselves, some participants had documented a 72% improvement in time management on days when they were able to get out and exercise. Lowered stress levels, improved morale, and high long term retention rates were among the many benefits of a healthier office.

It's easy to see that health initiatives build a more robust, successful company. So how can employers provide the perks of a wellness-focused office without the actual office space? Get ready to exercise your creativity with these fabulous ideas for HR managers, team leads, and small business owners looking to support a healthier, happier team.

Office olympics

Team building in a remote workspace can be difficult. Bring your staff together with monthly fitness challenges. 

As a healthy office incentive, consider providing employees with apps and devices to track their progress. MyFitnessPal and FitBit are great accountability tools. Set a company-wide step goal, challenge your staff to learn a new yoga pose each day or complete a virtual strength training course together. Award prizes like coffee and healthy dining perks for the winners of each month's office Olympics. 

Allowances for at-home equipment

Providing a stipend for home office equipment has become relatively commonplace and even a necessity in today's flexible corporate world. Many employers fail to consider the benefit of providing a home fitness stipend to their desk weary warriors.

An allowance for personal exercise equipment not only supports remote workers in staying at home during the current health crisis but in most cases, this approach is more budget-friendly than maintaining a physical, on-site gym for staff. Plus, employees can enjoy the freedom of picking out their equipment and finding an at home fitness routine that works for them. 

Class is in session

Virtual fitness classes are the new cure for a case of the Monday's, and perfect for any home fitness regimen. 

Invite each department to a weekly group workout. Education is one of the growing benefits professionals seek out when joining a company.  Learning new skills is an attractive perk and a great way to continue growing as a team. This interactive approach allows for peer to peer collaboration and provides a much-needed break from the usual marathon of Zoom meetings. Socializing with our remote colleagues is just as important as gathering around the water cooler. Mix up the routine by trying a variety of HIIT classes, yoga, aerobics, and more. 

Celebrate achieving goals with team members

The best teams not only share projects but share experiences and moments of personal connection as well. 

Goals.app is the perfect tool for building and maintaining stronger bonds between coworkers. Culture is vitally important to the prosperity of a business and even more so when teams operate remotely. 

Help overcome employee loneliness as a result of working remotely and bring your teams back together. Create fun goals for employees to complete and share to earn prizes. Goals can be anything from share a fitness objective, recommend a book/movie, share your favorite vacation spot, learn something new, or anything else you come up with! Best of all, anybody can comment on and react to posts, which is a fun way to get the conversation started. 

As employees earn points for completing goals, redeem points for individual prizes such as additional PTO, healthy lunch credits, or company swag. You can also cash in on remote office fitness challenges and spend rewards on more fun team building activities like virtual happy hours and escape rooms.

Wellness for all

Okay, so running a 10k isn't everyone's idea of self-care. One of the many benefits of a remote workforce is the opportunity to provide personalized rewards, bonuses, and incentives. Many companies have taken to offering a general wellness initiative as opposed to the more old school idea of a fitness program.

Wellness initiatives can take a few different forms. Managers might provide access to a couple of options for staff to choose from, such as meditations, yoga, and traditional exercise classes. Others find it more helpful to simply gift employees with one-time wellness or hobby bonus to support their staff in pursuing their unique interests. Options empower your team to customize their healthy living routine into one they'll continue for the long haul. That means less tired, stiff, and burnt out colleagues and more energized, successful, and dynamic Monday morning Zoom meetings for you and your virtual office.

Prioritizing company health and wellness has never been more valuable. Zestful makes it simple and easy for businesses to support their remote staff with a variety of home fitness-focused incentives to fit any sized company, budget, or goals. Are you looking for more remote team building tips? Check out these fun games and activities for staying together while apart.

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