After working remotely for the past year and a half owing to the pandemic, many companies have begun to ask their staff to return to work onsite. While just a few organisations have moved to a fully remote work model, the majority of employers expect employees to return onsite, either to their pre-pandemic work schedule or to a more flexible hybrid work model in which employees can work onsite anywhere from 1-3 days per week.
Even while the exact expectation varies based on the company’s corporate culture, this shift toward a more flexible work schedule is one of the key motivations behind the changing landscape of corporate fitness and health coaching.
To be more explicit, this shift has shifted employees’ use of lunch hours and/or particular weekday hours that were previously dedicated to working out at the corporate fitness centre to meetings and other work-related obligations.
In other words, many employees with a flexible work schedule now spend less days in the office, which means that time previously committed to fitness demands is now being allocated to more on-site meetings and other in-person work responsibilities, causing their fitness goals to be de-prioritized.
Regardless of how frequently an employee must come into the office, the transition back to workplace while adjusting to a new routine might make it more difficult to keep fitness goals in mind. The good news is that this does not have to be the case: new habits may be formed at any moment, and happily, even during this transition, there are strategies to prioritise fitness goals.
Tips and strategies to assist people prioritise their personal fitness objectives while adjusting to a new work schedule are listed below. The similar strategy can be used to manage meetings and other high-priority tasks during onsite workdays:
- Begin with one small, doable step – Begin the day before you go to work with one small, doable action. Walking, stretching, or practising core and strengthening exercises at home for 10-15 minutes before leaving for the office are all instances of tiny realistic steps. Because getting started is often the most difficult part, once you get started, you may be even more inspired to exercise for a longer period of time.
- Split up your workout – If a long workout in the office is no longer possible due to meetings and other work priorities, consider splitting your workout into two to three separate 15-20-minute segments. Consider breaking up your workout plan, which includes strength training, core workouts, and low-impact cardio, into three distinct sessions of those particular components, so you can fit it in around your hectic work schedule.
- Establish a connection to your WHY – It is a well-known fact that when one has established a connection to the deeper purpose or intent behind a new goal or behaviour change, one feels more motivated to pursue it. Individuals who feel connected to their why, or justification, for engaging in a particular conduct, for example, are inspired and more likely to work diligently toward their objective. It’s easy to lose sight of the fitness objective as work gets busier or if the work schedule changes.
If you concentrate on the why behind the goal, you are more likely to adjust your schedule and make it a priority to work toward it. Ask yourself the following questions to stay connected to your why: “How would this habit or behaviour make you feel?” “What may change if you were able to prioritise your fitness and well-being during the workday?” “Why is this habit or behaviour important to you?”
- Make use of your surroundings and set reminders – Do you find it difficult to take a fitness break when you’re “in the zone” at work? If you answered yes, consider using physical cues in your environment to aid with responsibility, such as post-it notes. Set reminders on your phone and/or add an exercise break to your Outlook calendar as a meeting to discourage coworkers from booking a meeting during that time.
Isn’t it true that environmental cues and reminders aren’t enough? To help you succeed, use cognition management. Remind yourself, for example, that your work will still be there when you return from your gym break. Taking a break, on the other hand, can help you re-energize and feel eager to tackle your duties with newfound enthusiasm when you return.
- Make use of social resources – Social ties can help with accountability, which is important for establishing a new habit or behaviour. Do you want to do more exercise or eat a healthier diet? Why not enlist the help of a coworker for an outside walk or a trip to the onsite exercise centre? Are you in the office at the same time as your accountability partner, a coworker? If this is the case, attempt to hold each other accountable through talks and/or friendly competitions. Hiring a fitness coach or personal trainer to help you stay motivated is also a good idea.