Friday, March 26, 2010

Workplace Perks

Believe it or not, some companies have recognized the link between employee health and productivity.  These companies have taken steps to help their employees pursue healthy lives by focusing on preventative healthcare and providing easy access to health and fitness opportunities.

Just this week, Intel announced the opening of their new gym facility for employees at their company headquarters. This new state of the art gym expands upon the company's focus on employee health that already features an onsite medical care facility and is meant to be an example for other corporate wellness centers. With Intel technology and Core Performance equipment at the heart of the facility, users are able to get personalized training plans, evaluate their progress and even personalize the entertainment - such as ondemand videos, music and more - that they workout to.

Other companies offer similar opportunities for their employees, although probably not quite so high tech. Software developer SAS provides their workers with a myriad of benefits meant to increase productivity and allow for their 35 hour work week. Their headquarters boasts an onsite medical facility with doctors of all types, a daycare at reduced costs and a large cafeteria so employees don't have to spend time driving to and from work to attend to these responsibilities. Additionally, they have a large fitness facility including a gym, swimming pool and full size basketbal court. Fitness and swimming classes are offered to employees.

REI, the outdoor sporting goods company has a dog park where employees can bring their dogs while they work and go play with them throughout the day. Mid-day group bike rides are frequent - work-talk is prohibited. Of course, there is a strong emphasis on fitness and outdoor activity, employees at all levels are encouraged to be active. Paychex, a payroll processor, hands out bonuses from $100-$300 each year for participating in healthy activities such as attending fitness classes, running races, biking to work and more. Rodale (home to our beloved Runner's World and Men's and Women's Health) provides workers with multple benefits meant to inspire a healthy work-life balance including onsite fitness facilities, health screenings, healthy foods, and all employees are encouraged to take advantage of the Rodale Institute farm in Pennsylvania.

There are many other companies out there who are realizing that the health of their employees has a direct effect on the productivity and success of their company. Jim Goodnight, the CEO of SAS, conveyed in a video on that the company recognizes that happy, healthy employees guarantee happy customers and thus, a happy company (because profits will be good). By paying attention to the health and wellbeing of employees, companies will boost productivity.

Do you work at a company that encourages you to pursue healthy habits in some way? Do people take advantage of it? If your company doesn't provide any health programs, what is one thing you wish they would do?

Don't forget, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution starts tonight (Sunday was a 'preview') on ABC at 8pm eastern. And Michigan State takes on Northern Iowa at 9:45pm! GO SPARTANS!

Workout Stats -
6.5mi elliptical
4mi bike
3x10 tricep kickback
3x10 front arm raise
1.5mi walk


Ansky said...

The company I work for has a modest size fitness center and offers fitness classes. Many employees do take advantage of it. There is also a group that goes out for a run during lunch time. There's usually enough time for a quick 4/5 mile run on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and back to the office through Chinatown.

Robyn said...

While my company doesn't put any particular emphasis on health and fitness, a lot of here do and so we all tend to see each other at the nearby gym at lunch. I used to think my boss would be pissed if he found out but I really think my mid-day workout makes me a better employee :)

Anonymous said...

I wish I worked for a place like REI. Hi!, I am a new follower who enjoys running in the morning (I'm in the Army). I just started my blog also, check it out when you get a chance! Happy runnings! Maria

Alisa said...


I have a friend who works at intel here in oregon and they have all these trails near the facility---LUCKY.

I am also pretty lucky that I have a boss who understands fitness and is okay with me coming in early and leaving early to get in my workouts and once a week I swim at lunch.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had such luxuries. :)
I work for government -- they don't give a care about health. They keep insisting they have wellness programs, but really all it amounts to is giving us health insurance. LOL

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

I work for a technology company, but we don't have those perks! We do have our insurance paid for though, which is very nice.

thanks for the reminder about the jamie oliver show

Anonymous said...

I office from home, so there is no corporate building to provide exercise facilities. However, when we have meetings a as a group out of town somewhere, they do make sure we have access to a gym and pay for it if it isn't included in the cost of the hotel.

I think it's great that these companies are looking out for the health of their employees! I definitely think it ups productivity both by the physcial benefits of exercise but also the mental affect of feeling like your company cares about you.

Arnold said...

This is really good news, that there is an existing company that gives perks like these.