Uncertainty and the associated sense of losing control resulting from the prolonged pandemic cause a state of constant stress that can affect the wellbeing of employees and their efficiency at work. More and more employers see this problem, understanding that concern for the mental and physical wellbeing of employees is not a whim but a responsibility. Research shows that as many as 67% of international companies plan to increase the scope of their wellbeing programmes. Such activities include stress management, promotion of physical activity, healthy nutrition or supporting integration of employees outside work. This phenomenon is also in line with the fact that more and more employers in Poland are reactivating their sports cards granted under employee benefits. In July, the number of activated MultiSport cards increased by 42% compared to the end of June this year.
Due to the extent of the pandemic, the problem of increased stress is a global phenomenon noticed by companies all over the world. In the long run, the problems of employees become the problems of employers because it has been known for a long time that there is a correlation between employee’s stress and the quality of work. According to the “2020 COVID-19 Benefits Survey” by Willis Towers Watson, as many as 51% of companies predict that the pandemic will adversely affect the work efficiency of their employees. At the same time, 61% of the surveyed companies expect a negative impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of their employees. As a result, most employers (67%) plan to increase their involvement in wellbeing programmes and employee benefits. The focus is to be mainly on mental health and stress management. Interestingly, nearly half of the surveyed international corporations (49%) train their managers to recognise signs of anxiety or depression among their subordinates and 27% of companies consider such a solution. At the same time, most employers (72%) promote a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity, among employees working from home.
–Whether the remote working model has been difficult or has worked well in a given organisation, staying at home for long periods of time is a huge challenge for your mental and physical health. Our reality currently requires tremendous ability to adapt quickly. Therefore concern for wellbeing is recognised as an increasingly important competence. One of its components is the ability to constructively relax and undertake regular physical activity. Many people do not realise how important regular exercise is to their mental health. It is widely believed that physical activity improves mood due to endorphins. In fact, we owe it much more – convinces psychologist Mateusz Banaszkiewicz.
A large American survey, “The National Study by Daily Experiences”, monitored physical activity and mood of over two thousand adults. Each evening, participants were asked about the most stressful event that happened to them during the day. On those days when they were active, stressful events, such as an unpleasant situation at work or caring for a loved one who was sick, were less burdensome for their mental wellbeing.
There are many indications that companies in Poland are noticing these dependencies and the benefits of sports activity, especially now, when many people feel increased tension related to the pandemic. A positive trend that goes hand in hand with this statement is the increase in the number of reactivated MultiSport cards, which are a popular non-financial benefit and motivate employees to exercise regularly.
–Physical activity successfully reduces the negative effects of the lockdown, including long-term stress, and the users of sports clubs can feel safe during workouts due to the increased sanitary standards in force in sports and recreation facilities – says Adam Radzki, Management Board Member at Benefit Systems, the company that created the MultiSport Programme. – Since the second half of June, we observe a progressive increase in the activity of MultiSport programme users. At the beginning of July, the percentage of reactivated sports cards increased by over 42% compared to June. This means that about 710,000 of people have decided to return to sport and regular workouts, and their employers support them in this. There is no need to convince anyone that sport is healthy but to increase the motivation to exercise, especially after a period of social isolation, we implement numerous activities supporting return to training both in sports facilities as well as outdoors. As every year, we launched the summer game called “Around the Summer in Sixty Days”, in which we reward the most active users. Together with the MultiSport programme users we also support charity actions – adds Adam Radzki.
All sports and recreation facilities in Poland (such as fitness clubs, gyms, dance schools etc.) are subject to the same, higher sanitary standards. These include the need to keep social distance as well as disinfect hands and the sports equipment used. In the clubs one can use changing rooms, toilets, or showers and, in accordance with the guidelines of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, there is no need to exercise with masks.