Joining a gym is not cheap, so for many companies, the decision to offer free membership to employees is not made lightly. However, in many circumstances, the benefits of gym membership can outweigh the expense. Knowing the advantages of offering free gym membership can help you decide whether or not this is right for your company.
Gym Memberships Benefit Employees
Employees who go to the gym will get regular exercise which can help them in a variety of ways, including:
- Exercise helps people fight off infection, diseases and chronic illnesses. There’s an obvious link between physical exercise and physical health. People who exercise can have reduced risk of heart disease and a variety of cancers.
- Exercise can help with mental health. Employees who exercise may be happier people, less likely to suffer from depression and more satisfied with their lives in general.
While membership benefits are obvious to employees, this wellness benefit can be just as beneficial to companies, although in a less obvious way. For example:
- People who feel better physically are more productive. When your workers are more physically healthy, they’re more likely to focus on their job and be productive in the workplace.
- Employees who exercise may be less likely to call out sick. Since employees who call out sick can cost your company money, anything that can prevent employee illness from happening is likely to benefit your company.
- Employers who focus on wellness may experience less staff turnover. Employers who invest in their companies and show their employees that they care may experience less turnover and higher rates of employee satisfaction. Hiring is very costly, as is losing experienced employees, so it’s only natural that your company should want to retain employees for as long as possible. Boosting your wellness program with gym membership will help with this goal.
Memberships May Not Be As Costly As You Imagine
Many companies that decline to offer free gym memberships do so because of the cost. However, there are many factors that can offset the cost of gym membership for employees. For example:
- Gym memberships can reduce healthcare costs. Employees who are healthy can help reduce your company’s insurance costs.
- There’s a tax benefit as well. Subsidizing your employee’s gym memberships can pay off at tax time. According to Chron.com, “Employers who offer to subsidize their employees’ gym membership expenses can deduct those costs as ordinary and necessary business expenses in the year in which they paid them.” This is something a CPA can help with, so to find out more, talk to your company’s accounting staff.
Contact HealthyWorks for Guidance
At HealthyWorks, we help many businesses boost their wellness programs, and we can help your business too. Let us help you keep your employees more healthy. Contact us today for more information about the ways that you can boost your company’s wellness program. If you’re thinking about offering free gym membership to your employees, we can help guide you through the process and make it as cost effective as possible.