Nearly 57% of Americans will admit that they judge their coworkers based on how they maintain their cubicle or office space. So it probably comes as no surprise that coworkers also look askance at you if you’re not maintaining your body, as well.
According to Bloomberg business, many companies are encouraging their employees to take advantage of cooperative workout classes, offering up wellness incentives. U.S. employers will spend an average of $693 per employee on these incentives, an increase from the $430 on average spent five years prior, according to a study by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.
Some companies are offering yoga classes, walking and healthy eating challenges, programs to help manage stress, and more. Though some would find working out alongside coworkers to be embarrassing, this initiative actually promotes morale and bonding between colleagues. Jaron Tate, owner of the Boot Camp Challenge, helps bring these fitness programs to businesses. He says, “When we’re three weeks into our program and sweat’s dripping out of your nose, you bond.”
These kinds of programs are also beneficial to working parents who don’t have time to hit the gym once the work day is done. Valerie Ruiz, an employee at Euromoney, commented, “By the time I get home, it’s 7. I have to take care of my daughter. By the time I get done with stuff, it’s too late. The gym is closed.” Euromoney has in-house yoga twice a week for all 500 of its NY-based employees. For eight weeks of classes, it costs the company $3,000, but they don’t mind paying the initial cost when they get it back in productivity and morale.
“Honestly, five years from now seeing some return, that’s not really what drives us,” says Janice Banaria, the HR and benefits administrator at Euromoney. “The idea of having happier, healthier employees is really why we do it.”
So maybe it’s time to ditch the morning doughnut routine at your company, and offer cooperative workout classes instead.