In the COVID-19 era, an unprecedented number of people are working from home.
Before the outbreak, around 6% of workers did so from home. Now, we’re discovering as many as 56% can reasonably conduct their job from their home offices. The same data shows us that at least 30% will remain as remote staff even after the pandemic is resolved.
That’s a 400% rise in the long-term remote working population.
Remote working presents a diverse range of advantages and disadvantages, factors that COVID-19 has made abundantly clear.
One disadvantage is the impact remote working has on mental and physical health. Almost half of the people that have experienced lockdown measures claim to have gained weight, while many individuals are also facing struggles with mental health.
So what exactly is going on?
A lack of exercise, if not the primary cause, is a contributing factor influencing employee wellbeing. Physical exercise has dropped continuously since the pandemic began, with many stay-at-home workers concerned about a lack of exercise and access to workout opportunities.
This concern does not just come from a select few individuals, either.
In a list of 12 unique factors, lack of exercise comes out on top as the biggest concern amongst remote workers — specifically, remote workers that began long-distance employment for the first time following the pandemic.
Rapid adaptation to remote working, combined with a mixture of anxiety, social distancing requirements and restricted access to exercise equipment, has meant that workers aren't sure how they’ll continue to maintain their health.
And this is a problem for your business.
Exercise is conducive to so many aspects of bodily health. It makes people more alert and happier. This, in turn, makes them more productive at work and more engaged. It encourages creative thinking, and it can even have dramatic impacts on traits like time management.
An energised workforce provides monetary benefits for your business.
Exercise increases productivity, and productive employees make a business more profitable — it’s not a complicated concept.
Yet COVID-19 has disrupted the relationship between exercise and an empowered workforce.
We’re already seeing the fallout from remote workers facing a lack of exercise options. Motivation and productivity are down in 66% of workers. This creates a myriad of issues. The answer appears to be to bring employees back into the workplace, but that isn’t what people want.
9 in 10 people that started working from home during lockdown want to remain working from home. Clearly, there are plenty of attractive benefits to the lifestyle, which means forcing individuals back into work before they’re ready and willing could create even more problems.
So we have a set of issues:
Workers want to remain working from home
Bringing them back into the office would be problematic
While they’re at home, workers are not exercising
Lack of exercise is impacting motivation and productivity
The answer is actually quite simple:
Supply your remote workers with home gym equipment.
Home gym equipment varies in price and function. You have simple items, like free weights, resistance bands and pull up bars, as well as more complicated items, like static bikes and machines. It’s important to match up items with the kind of exercise your employees like, or they won’t use them.
Supply of these items then begins a snowball effect.
As identified, the biggest concern amongst employees experiencing remote work following lockdown is that they don’t know how they’re going to get their exercise. This is particularly true of vulnerable people that don’t want to leave the house unnecessarily.
Providing uncertain workers with home fitness items solves that issue. It promises access to workout opportunities in a safe environment.
With home gym equipment available, you can go one step further. Just as many businesses pay their workers for their time spent in on-site gyms, you can pay your workers for their time spent working out. You can measure this through a variety of metrics, from providing fitness smartwatches to monitor progress to subscribing your employees to fitness tracking apps.
Home gym equipment is a low-cost method of getting your employees active, but activity breeds strong rewards. Encourage remote workers to exercise, give them the means to do it, and you’ll help to combat the many issues impacting well-being while working from home.
The result of this strategy is happier and more productive workers, which ensures your business does not suffer at the hands of COVID-19 anymore than it has already! If you’re encouraging employees to exercise, it’s recommended you also offer protein supplements and nutrient supplements so they can maintain their energy levels and improve workout performance.