Employee well-being has been tested throughout the course of the pandemic, which has triggered a response from employers on the benefits front.
And, according to a study by ClassPass, fitness benefits are valued most by employees. The study of 2,185 professionals from 19 countries found that 70% ranked fitness benefits as the most valuable outside of basic health care. Other top ancillary benefits ranked by professionals include mental health benefits, home office stipends, financial wellness benefits and childcare.
Most study participants (96%) said they feel more motivated and less stressed after exercising, while 89% indicated they are more productive during the workday after exercising. For employees who participated in team workouts with coworkers, 60% said they feel more connected afterward.
The study found that 25% of participants are exercising more since the start of COVID-19 and roughly 20% are using their previous commute time to exercise. Additionally, 80% said fitness activities have been crucial to establishing a new work-from-home routine.
Many participants in the study are still unable to exercise at their gyms, because of COVID-19 restrictions. The survey found that 92% hope to return to studios and gyms in 2021 and half are planning a hybrid of in-studio and at-home workouts.
Other findings from the survey included:
- Three in four professionals currently work from home full-time, and one in four professionals have relocated temporarily or permanently since COVID.
- Half of professionals (48%) say their employers did not have a remote working policy prior to COVID.
- A majority of employees (71%) feel less connected to coworkers. Additional challenges include work/life balance difficulties, lack of motivation, more burnout and stress, having to share space with others, and a lack of home office setup or an inadequate home office setup.
- Half of professionals say their workload has increased, with one in four professionals sharing that they have fewer resources than before COVID (less pay, smaller teams, etc.)