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Why traditional gym memberships don't work for your employee engagement programme anymore
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Why traditional gym memberships don't work for your employee engagement programme anymore

As employees seek a more comprehensive approach, the era of the traditional gym is giving way to a holistic wellness trend that transcends mere physical exercise.

This article is brought to you by Virgin Active.

Health and fitness are important for a strong and engaged workforce. We all know that. But we also know that the struggle of including a gym membership is real, as not all employees are fitness fanatics or see value of this benefit. If we are aware that an increase in our employees’ overall health will lead to greater employee happiness and productivity, what can we do then to encourage them to stay healthy?

In the ever-evolving landscape of corporate wellbeing, the traditional gym model is no longer relevant for our employees across generations and is undergoing a major transformative shift. As employees seek a more comprehensive approach, the era of the traditional gym is giving way to a holistic wellness trend that transcends mere physical exercise. This paradigm shift is epitomised by the rise of corporate wellness programmes in Singapore, where employees are moving beyond the conventional boundaries of fitness initiatives.

They want to find a place where they can have fitness, wellness and, if possible, social spaces all at the same time. If any brand is able to answer to that, it makes perfect sense for all employees to be enrolled as they can have everything at one go, or pick and choose from what they feel comfortable in.

Embrace holistic wellness: As fitness is not yet a habit for every employee

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Not all employees are enthusiastic about hitting the gym or going for a run. But everyone can begin by introducing some form of wellness in their lives. With the fundamental shift of how one views holistic wellness, considering health in a comprehensive way is now the key.

Beyond the narrow focus of traditional gyms, the contemporary workforce in Singapore is demanding a more all-encompassing approach to health — one that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects. A new global trend on recovery and high local demand (87%) for recovery spaces in gym has been observed though Virgin Active’s Singapore Fitness Trends Study 2024.

Innovative facilities are leading this wellness revolution with relax and recovery spaces designed to cater to the multifaceted needs of transgenerational individuals seeking a more profound connection to their well-being. Facilities like the Himalayan Salt Room offer therapeutic respites, sleep pods provide sanctuaries for rest and meditation, and sound bath classes embrace ancient healing practices to induce relaxation and harmonise the body and mind. The popularity of such classes underscores a shift towards a more integrated approach to well-being — a departure from the one-dimensional focus of traditional gym classes.

Social spaces: Our lives are no longer modular, the spaces we use should not be too

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The traditional gym model often isolates physical exercise from the broader fabric of our lives. We have however witnessed how our workforce’s needs have changed, post pandemic. They have learnt to function well in the office, and beyond. If their needs have evolved, why are we offering them a benefit with spaces which hasn’t evolved? It would be perfect if the "gym" partner we have offers facilities and spaces which allow our employees to work out, work, or build social bonds, seamlessly integrating parts of their lives.

Our employees can then network, socialise, and foster connections, creating a sense of community that goes beyond the solitary pursuit of physical health. The survey conducted by Virgin Active Singapore also reinforced this observation as it revealed that people in Singapore prioritised recreational spaces (73%), wellness programmes (71%), and community-focused social bonding activities (60%), as well as the freedom and flexibility offered by gyms.

Corporate wellness programmes in Singapore

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According to the Wellness in Workplace Survey 2023 conducted by Virgin Active Singapore, 81.5% of corporate employees prioritise holistic wellness as part of their health journey, and they view wellness through a much broader and sophisticated lens.

As the workforce in Singapore embraces this holistic wellness trend, forward-thinking organisations are recognising the potential of corporate wellness programmes which encompasses more than just fitness.

These initiatives offer all-inclusive fitness club memberships, providing access not only to cutting-edge workout facilities but also to the innovative relax and recovery spaces, and wellness programmes. Employees see value in these comprehensive wellness approaches, understanding that they contribute not only to physical health but also to mental and emotional wellbeing.

Tailored corporate wellness plan in Singapore

To fully embrace the holistic wellness revolution and cater to the evolving needs of your workforce in Singapore, explore our tailored 'corporate wellness plans'. These plans align with the changing desires of employees, positioning your organisation as one that prioritises their holistic well-being.

Take the first step towards redefining your approach to corporate wellness in Singapore. Visit virginactive.com.sg/corporate to discover how you can tailor a corporate wellness plan that caters to the unique needs of your organisation.

Elevate your employee wellbeing initiatives and join the holistic wellness revolution that is reshaping the future of corporate health and fitness in Singapore.


All images: Provided by Virgin Active

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