Keeping workflow moving and progressing is key to running a successful business. And the same is true for employees. Yet many workers remain glued to their desks all day with little or no movement at all.
A recent study published by Edinburgh University found that on average office workers spend 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down.
This lack of physical activity and movement during the working day accounts for a large number of workplace absences and contributes to reduced productivity because of ill health at work, known as presenteeism. More active employees are 20 per cent less likely to take time off work.
While modern working environments are moving away from fixed desks to a flexible and fluid setup that encourages employee movement to different spaces, more is needed to promote wellbeing, help people move and avoid an entirely sedentary working day.
And a more active workforce will ultimately mean more productivity. A report published last year by the North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) found that as a region, the North West lags behind the average UK productivity levels in all sectors except manufacturing with Greater Manchester’s productivity £8.2 billion behind the UK average.
A key element to address this situation is exercise and encouraging people to simply move about more. Workplace facilities and amenities, such as a gym or a safe place for employees to store their bikes are increasingly in demand for employers looking for a more holistic office space for their staff.
Workplace wellbeing has always been central to Bruntwood’s philosophy and a key consideration in all of the workspaces that we create in Greater Manchester and beyond.
A good workspace not only focuses on design and layout but also on the amenities that enrich and enhance the employee experience.
This was front of mind for one of our latest refurbishment projects at Trafford House located on Chester Road in Old Trafford. Part of our £1m investment into the building was the introduction of a full exercise and wellbeing programme for customers to enjoy throughout the day to support them in increasing fitness and physical activity levels.
The pioneering initiative has seen us form a unique partnership with international exercise brand, Les Mills, to offer virtual fitness classes throughout the day and Altius Healthcare to deliver an employee wellbeing programme. Providing this for our customers within our building is an innovative approach that helps smaller businesses who cannot afford to set up their own fitness programmes independently.
Trafford House is the first of our properties to offer this benefit but we believe that programmes like this will soon become the norm as initiatives that positively impact employee wellbeing are increasingly demanded by those looking to raise productivity by improving employee health.