By Angela Nuñez
While providing a workplace gym is a great idea, the reality may not match up to expectations. Many workplaces encourage employees to take advantage of the on-site gym during lunch breaks and some employees do. Others, though, may not have the time to workout in the middle of a workday. If, for example, the lunch break is only an hour, that really doesn’t leave much time to eat, work out, shower, and get back to the desk. If employers want their employees to use on-site gyms, they may need to consider being more flexible with breaks. No one wants to sit through an afternoon of work all stinky and sweaty, and if an employee doesn’t have time to clean up after a workout, he or she most likely will skip the gym entirely.
Some workplaces also encourage employees to use the gym before or after work. Most employees, though, already feel that too much time is spent away from home and their families, so they’re not eager to come to work early or stay late in order to hit the gym. A more practical benefit than an on-site gym may be a gym membership elsewhere. That way when employees go to the gym, they don’t have to associate the workout with the workplace. For employees who do manage to somehow squeeze in a workout during their lunch break or who don’t mind coming in early or staying late to go to the gym, the benefit of having one on-site is convenient. The problem is that it is not convenient enough for most employees, many of which are already pressed for time. Gym memberships elsewhere may be a better solution for encouraging employees to stay fit.