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Exercise to boost employee performance!??

| Becca Clayton

Ask any HR professional whether they would like to know about a way to increase productivity without overburdening employees; chances are that they would jump at the opportunity to find out more.

A key question to answer is:

Should companies allow their workers to exercise during working hours to boost employee performance……

Why is this a key question you ask:

Recent Stockholm University research clearly shows that they should do so because working out invigorates the body & mind and increases productivity in a way that more than compensates for the time that is invested in exercise.

The Stockholm University research found that, at worst, employees who exercised for 2.5 hours each working week (30 minutes per day) got as much done with their time as the people who did not work out did in their regular hours. Add to that a reduction in absenteeism and an increase in self-assessed productivity and there is a clear net benefit for an employer.

Other studies have followed suit, even more recently looking at various aspects of the link between exercise and productivity. These have additionally shown that exercise makes people happy, which in turn also makes them more productive.

It is one of the reasons that so many best companies have embraced this research. At Google, for example, employees can get massages, treatments, relaxation sessions, do yoga or exercise all while “at work.” Many other companies have similar programmes because they believe that it is essential to have happy employees in order to get the most out of them. Not only that, but by providing perks in the workplace, Google gives employees a reason to stay on site longer. This in turn leads to productive work-related conversations between people who are off the clock, but still in the office to use the exercise equipment, or walk, jog or attend a class.

This does not mean that every business should or even could immediately copy what Google is doing, but companies must realize that it is in their interest that employees exercise.

Healthy employees results in fewer work days lost due to sickness. As any HR professional knows, the cost of absenteeism is staggering.

Apart from the productivity benefit of having healthier and happier employees, there are other advantages of putting a smile on the face of workers. Allowing them to step away from their desk for a workout, relaxation session, massage or walk, will certainly increase their job satisfaction. A regular exercise routine gives people more energy when compared to their sedentary counterparts, which in turn leads to a more productive and enjoyable work life balance too.

With all of these advantages, employers should not just allow employees to exercise (and in this we include brisk walking) but try to make sure that they actually move away from their work station and do so!

Exercise to boost employee performance I hear you say…..this raises a huge potential problem for businesses who will not have the resources to install a gym or still feel uneasy about allowing their limited staff time off during the day just to work out. Fortunately, new technologies in the fields of personal fitness and exercise equipment & monitoring now allow most businesses to enjoy the benefits of an effective on-site workout programme that is both cost and time efficient.

While some organisations might still view giving employees time off to work out as an extravagance, science, simple economics and an increasing move toward providing workers with incentives all indicate that NOT having such a programme will place them at a disadvantage!

To find out more about what we can offer please contact us on 01782 365 108 or becca.clayton@choosetonic.co.uk

We offer HIIT training, workplace walking programmes, fitness monitoring devices for staff, step challenges and workplace exercise sessions to name but a few. We will come in and share with you realistic, cost effective and performance enhancing ideas from the Tonic Toolbox based on your needs and budget.

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