The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of our lives, including how we exercise and stay fit. Many people switched to working out at home, using online platforms or apps to access fitness classes and programs. Others have returned to gyms or studios, seeking the social interaction and motivation that comes with in-person workouts. Some have opted for a hybrid approach, combining digital and in-person fitness services to suit their preferences and needs.
But what about employees? How can employers support their health and well-being in this post-pandemic era? How can they offer a fitness benefit that is flexible, inclusive, engaging and rewarding for their diverse workforce?
In this article, we will explore some of the benefits and challenges of digital and in-person fitness services, and how employers can leverage them to create a comprehensive hybrid fitness program for their employees.
Benefits of Digital Fitness Services
Digital fitness services refer to any online platform or app that provides access to fitness content, such as live-streamed or on-demand classes, workouts, programs, coaching, etc. Corporate Fitness Works digital fitness services incorporate these key elements with a unique focus on addressing health challenges specific to working populations.
Some of the benefits of digital fitness services are:
- Convenience: Employees can work out anytime, anywhere, without having to commute or adhere to a fixed schedule. They can also choose from a variety of options that suit their goals, interests and fitness levels.
- Affordability: Employees can save money on gym memberships or studio fees, as most digital fitness services are cheaper or offer free trials or discounts. They can also use their own equipment or bodyweight exercises, reducing the need for expensive gear.
- Personalization: Employees can customize their workouts based on their preferences, needs and feedback. They can also track their progress and performance using data and analytics provided by the platforms or apps.
- Diversity: Employees can access a wide range of fitness categories, such as cardio, strength, yoga, pilates, dance, martial arts, etc. They can also explore different styles, instructors and languages that appeal to them.
Challenges of Digital Fitness
Despite the benefits, digital fitness services also pose some challenges for employees and employers. Some of them are:
- Motivation: Employees may find it hard to stay motivated and consistent when working out alone at home. They might lack the social support and accountability that comes with in-person workouts. Exercising at home can pose distractions or interruptions from family members, pets or household chores.
- Quality: Employees may not receive the same level of instruction and guidance as they would in-person. They may miss out on the cues, corrections and feedback that help them improve their form and technique. Technical issues or glitches could affect their experience.
- Safety: Employees may risk injury or discomfort if they do not follow proper warm-up, cool-down and recovery protocols. Exercises could be performed incorrectly or beyond their capabilities without supervision. They may not have access to emergency assistance or first aid if needed.
Benefits of In-Person Fitness Services
In-person fitness services refer to any physical location that provides access to fitness facilities, equipment, or classes, such as gyms, studios, parks, etc. Corporate Fitness Works provides Fitness Center Management and Fitness Center Design services for Fortune 500 companies all across the nation. For over three decades, we’ve had a front row seat to view the unique advantages a professionally managed and well-designed facility provides for workplace community and culture.
Some of the benefits of in-person fitness services are:
- Social: Employees can interact with other people who share their passion for fitness. They can join communities and groups that offer support, encouragement, and camaraderie. There is also an opportunity to network and build relationships with instructors and peers.
- Motivation: Employees can benefit from the energy and atmosphere of a group setting. They can feel inspired and challenged by seeing others perform and achieve their goals. They can also receive praise and recognition for their efforts.
- Quality: Employees can receive professional instruction and guidance from certified trainers and coaches. They can learn new skills and techniques that enhance their performance and results with access to high-quality equipment and facilities that suit their needs.
- Safety: Employees can work out in a safe and secure environment that follows health and safety protocols. They can receive immediate assistance or intervention if they encounter any problems or emergencies. They can also access amenities and services that promote their well-being.
Challenges of In-Person Fitness Services
Despite the benefits, in-person fitness services also pose some challenges for employees and employers. Some general challenges may be:
- Convenience: Employees may find it difficult to fit in-person workouts into their busy schedules. They may have to commute, reserve spots, wait in lines or adhere to limited hours. There are also potential barriers such as traffic, weather, parking, etc.
- Affordability: Employees may have to pay higher fees for in-person fitness services, if not included as a benefit. They may also incur additional costs such as transportation, clothing, accessories, etc. Access to all locations and options could be limited.
- Equitability: Employees who are in remote only positions may not be able to access the onsite facility on a regular basis. This could be perceived as an inequitable fitness benefit by the employer and influence feelings of exclusion impacting employee morale, and job satisfaction.
How to Utilize a Combination of Digital and In-Person Fitness Services
Given the benefits and challenges of both digital and in-person fitness services, how can employers create a workplace fitness program that incorporates both and meets the needs of their employees?
One possible solution is to offer a hybrid fitness benefit that gives employees the choice and flexibility to work out online or offline, depending on their preferences and circumstances. A hybrid fitness benefit can provide employees with:
- Access to a variety of digital and in-person fitness services that cover different categories, training styles, instructors, and coaches.
- Ability to switch between digital and in-person workouts as they wish, without losing their progress or membership.
- Opportunity to join live or on-demand classes from home or visit on-site fitness facilities staffed by certified personnel.
- Option to invite family members, co-workers, or friends to join them online or onsite, creating a social and supportive network.
- Incentives and rewards for participating in fitness activities and challenges, regardless of the mode or location.
At Corporate Fitness Works, our hybrid fitness solutions are customizable and adaptive to the working population’s needs. We blend fitness with community engagement strategies intentionally designed to build connections across the organization. We combine the best of digital with in-person fitness services to provide employees with an inclusive, comprehensive, and engaging fitness program.
Hybrid Fitness with Community Engagement: the CFW Difference:
Establishing a hybrid fitness benefit that aligns with the unique needs of your workforce is no easy task, particularly with the unknowns of the post-pandemic era. Return to work trends are fluctuating, forcing companies to adapt workplace policies as they go. Employee health issues are shifting with the need to focus on physical, mental, and social health to combat isolation and loneliness that has resulted from remote work. Many organizations are struggling with employee engagement and retention rates continuing to impact their overall productivity and profitability.
At Corporate Fitness Works, we recognize these pain points and are actively working with our clients to address them. Our hybrid fitness solutions are customizable and adaptive to each working population we serve. We combine the best of digital with in-person fitness services to provide employees with an inclusive, comprehensive, and engaging fitness program no matter where they work. What makes our approach different is our integration of community engagement strategies with our hybrid fitness services to build connected cultures where employees and organizations thrive.
CFW Community Engagement Strategies leverage our digital fitness platforms and onsite facility management. A dedicated health and fitness expert collaborates with corporate HR/Benefits teams and Employee Resources Groups, and other applicable departments to facilitate community engagement programs for employees. Examples may include:
- Meeting Move Breaks
- Meditation Sessions
- Team Builders
- Collaborative DEI Events
- Company Walks/Fun Runs/Bike Rides
- Corporate Games
- Recreation Events
- Health Awareness Campaigns
- Collaborative Nutrition Education
- Cooking Demos with Café Staff
- Workspace Ergonomics
- Mental Health Resource Awareness
- Stress Relief Stations
- Recovery Rooms
- Fitness Suites
With the ability to host live in-person, livestream, and record for on-demand views later, we are making corporate health and fitness more accessible and employee engagement more attainable for our clients. Discover the difference for yourself. Connect with us today to learn more about Corporate Fitness Works’ hybrid fitness solutions and community engagement strategies.