Hybrid work calls for hybrid benefits

  • Justin Mayer

    Justin Mayer

By Justin Mayer
F45 Training
Posted6/12/2022 1:00 AM

The pandemic was a catalyst for many consumer and commercial services going digital and that helped bring a lot of maturity to that inevitable technological progress.

But the slide of the digital fitness juggernaut, Peloton, highlighted that it isn't and won't be the perfect ongoing solution.


Brick and mortar fitness concepts are back with a vengeance. Case in point, F45 Training is up 175% and Planet Fitness is up 67% in the first quarter. And that resurgence highlights what digital fitness doesn't do well -- build community and offer personalized engagement.

So what's next for the world? Hybrid models.

We've all been reading about how hybrid is the way of the future for work. Well, it applies to fitness too. Especially when it comes to companies offering wellness programs and benefits. Microsoft's Work Index of 2022 highlights clear divisions in where employees want to work as well as what benefits they now seek.

The Work Index shows that 50% of leadership want people in the office and 52% of employees want hybrid work. The rationale for leaders wanting teams physically in the office is a logical one -- productivity. But workers are saying they are equally productive when working remotely.

The Work Index reports that beyond pay, the second most important benefit that employees desire (42%) is for an employer to provide well-being benefits.

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So if employees want geographical flexibility and wellness benefits, what can an employer offer? The answer lies in creating a culture that embraces flexibility and prioritizes employee well-being. Employers can seek fitness or wellness partners that offer a hybrid model of online and in person.

In-person options create opportunities for morale building. Employees who have thriving relationships with their team members report better well-being, a more positive outlook on workplace stress, more employer satisfaction and higher productivity. They are also less likely to change employers in the year ahead.

Virtual options give employees the opportunity to opt into wellness activities when and where it suits them.

Offering both delivers a competitive talent retention advantage and builds a thriving organization that drives long-term growth.

Fitness organizations like F45 Training are in that sweet spot. With 22 physical F45 studios across the Chicago area, it delivers the brick-and-mortar experience, in-person trainer and community-building expectations that consumers are hungry for.


Plus, F45 Training members get access to an entire library of on-demand fitness classes through the company's mobile app, with programming that updates daily and can be done anywhere, anytime. This platform also includes recovery-oriented classes, fitness form and wellness tips, a wellness tracking tool and meal planning support with recipes and grocery lists.

It is perfect for someone new to exercising, intimidated or uncomfortable in the gym, or a remote worker without access to a physical location. This platform provides digital access to an F45 training experience anywhere.

On-site classes are a potential third option of the hybrid model. Companies are wise to bring benefits to their facilities so employees can take advantage of them without having to leave the property. The F45 in Elk Grove Village has added this to the offering. While not a standard service, it's one that any F45 studio can scale to do.

Nothing builds camaraderie and relationships like working together toward a common goal. Wellness programs with partners like F45 Training are turnkey for corporations and ladder up nicely to larger organizational goals for improved employee wellness -- physically, mentally and emotionally. And what your employees get is a highly flexible wellness benefit that they can actually use when and where works for them.

• Justin Mayer is director at Pathfinder Product Labs and owner and managing director of F45 Training in Elk Grove Village.

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