Office Fitness Challenges for Hybrid Work
A study from Deloitte outlines what role office fitness challenges can play in a world where a majority of Gen Z and Millennials prefer hybrid work. It highlights how the work of HR managers is going through huge changes as up-and-coming generations embrace new working patterns:
- 75% of Gen Z and 76% of Millennials prefer flexible ways of working.
- 49% and 45% respectively say that they already have the option to do so.
This aligns with a recent study from Microsoft Research. Their Work Trend Index 2022 gives slightly more conservative numbers: "49% of Gen Z workers are likely to consider transitioning to a hybrid model in their current role, and 46% are likely to go remote."
Office fitness challenges for today's workforce
The Deloitte study goes further and outlines the mental landscape for Gen Z and Millennials. This is vital as the two generations will soon be making up the dominant part of the workforce.
Knowing what is important to them enables you as the leader to understand your people and create corporate wellness initiatives that meet their needs and avoid the dreaded "meh".
The three main factors are:
- Financial well-being. "Gen Zs (29%) and millennials (36%) selected cost of living (e.g., housing, transport, bills, etc.) as their greatest concern".
- Climate change and sustainability. "Many are willing to pay more to make sustainable choices. 64% of Gen Zs would pay more to purchase an environmentally sustainable product, versus 36% who would choose a cheaper product that is not as sustainable."
- Mental health. "Gen Zs are regularly stressed and anxious. Nearly half say that they feel stressed all or most of the time."
Rethinking corporate wellness initiatives
In light of this research, it is worth having another look at wellness initiatives you may have because concerns around personal finance, climate change and mental health do not go away easily.
While traditional one-time step challenges are a good way to get started with employee wellness – and you should continue with them regularly – a new layer on top is needed.
To address issues that really keep your workforce up at night a great next step would be to use different challenges that platforms like YuMuuv offer to continuously serve the concerns of your workforce year-round. Here are a few practical ways how to do that:
Keep in mind something very interesting that Deloitte underlined. Due to the financial unease: "As many as 43% of Gen Zs and 33% of millennials have a second part- or full-time paying job in addition to their primary job. A small, but a growing, percentage are also moving to less expensive cities with remote jobs."
This influence of the gig economy redefines employee engagement in a meaningful way. Engagement is no longer nice to have. An employee engagement platform can become your main tool for ensuring that you have a workforce that is focused and dedicated, to begin with.
It can become one of the main interfaces through which your people can experience your employee brand and the benefits you work so hard to create for them. Here's an idea of how:
- Create a year-round custom challenge in YuMuuv to increase the monthly savings rate.
- Encourage people to create their own groups with colleagues they feel comfortable with.
- Introduce the challenge by inviting a personal finance expert to discuss best practices.
In just three steps you can combine the educational and practical aspects and take a real step in improving your employee well being in an area that they say truly matters to them.
PS! By choosing a modern platform like YuMuuv you can ensure that personal data is kept private.
Climate change and sustainability
Encouraging environmentally friendly commuting via challenges that offer prizes is a simple yet effective method to tackle the second most important worry in the minds of your employees.
You can spice up an ordinary once-a-year walking challenge and make it into a continuous program that encourages not only walking but perhaps using even new forms of micromobility such as e-bikes or e-scooters to lessen the environmental impact of work-related commutes.
E-bike usage is exploding across Europe and particularly in Germany, the Netherlands and other Central European countries. It is also becoming mainstream across metro areas in the US.
- Offer a rebate for purchasing an e-bike or e-scooter to commute to work. As Deloitte's research shows: people are willing to invest on top of their own to meet your contribution.
- Create a company-wide challenge to use the purchased device year-round. Especially e-bikes
- Enable people to create their own personal challenges alongside the main challenge to encourage further use of the purchased micromobility vehicles.
Not only will this improve your employee wellness, but strengthen your position in terms of your employee branding as well as public branding. Making it easier to recruit and retain new people.
Mental health is an important but delicate subject that HR leaders need to handle with care.
After conducting thousands of employee wellness challenges across four continents we at YuMuuv suggest starting with the simplest of things that can yet have a profound effect: a sleeping challenge. Modern devices such as smartwatches make it easy to track automatically. The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated, as the Sleeping Foundation highlights:
"Sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content."
"As a result, the traditional view, which held that sleep problems were a symptom of mental health disorders, is increasingly being called into question. Instead, it is becoming clear that there is a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health4 in which sleeping problems may be both a cause and consequence of mental health problems."
Therefore, a good plan of action to address the third most important concern for the next generation of employees could be to:
- Start out with an optional sleeping challenge for people who do have the required devices.
- Keep the sleeping challenge going and add mindfulness, yoga and other challenges on top.
- Add health activities to your existing corporate events and invite inspirational health leaders.
Redefining your "office" for fitness challenges
In the era of hybrid work, your office is not just the physical space where your employees work. Your office is becoming the wider employee experience you can provide 24/7 365 days a year.
A new way of thinking about office fitness challenges can help to elevate employee experience. If you are curious about how to do that – feel free to book a demo with our wellness experts.👇