Big surprise: I work sitting at a desk for eight hours a day (me and the majority of my North American counterparts). It's tough to sneak fitness into the workday, and it's really easy to ignore the need for it during the available morning and evening hours. Some companies have begun to realize the importance of employee fitness--offering health benefits or building at-work gyms.
But how can company executives encourage daily fitness on an individual, personal level, while maintaining the productivity they need? I didn't know it was possible to espouse both high-quality product and top-shape people at the same time until I chatted with Richard Wilson, owner of AGNORA Architectural Glass North America. This is his vision: all staff should enjoy a healthy lifestyle, from regular activity to convenient medical checkups--and this is all provided by AGNORA at zero or minimal charge to the employees. This concept starts from the overall corporate mentality. "There’s no ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Our whole purpose is to take care of our team,” says Wilson.
But Wilson, like all glass and glazing company executives, is dedicated to producing quality product, too. It seems that while Wilson takes care of his team--and other companies work to make fitness a regular part of the day--the team can benefit the company.
For example, Wilson gave AGNORA employees a Polar wrist band to be mindful of their need for regular activity, and AGNORA employees have the opportunity to see an on-site medical doctor and a masseuse during work hours. “In manufacturing, it’s a lot of manual labor with potential for repetitive strain injuries. Not a lot of people have the opportunity [to get a massage],” says Wilson. “We want a good work environment, but it’s also selfish. We want everyone to be here. They can’t afford the time off work, and as a company it makes us so much more productive when we have a healthy team.”
A healthy team equals more productivity. I know I always feel more motivated and ready for the day when fitness is a part of it. Take that concept to a company level. How could a focus on fitness benefit all glass and glazing workers, and in turn benefit the industry at large? What is your company doing to encourage an active work environment?
Check out how Wilson has transformed the factory floor for fitness in the AGNORA's Focus on Fitness photo gallery.
Read more from Wilson on how remaining focused on activity is beneficial for the entire company in the July 2015 Here's an Idea... story.
Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.