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Would you wear gym gear to work?

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Do you think you could get your staff to come to work one day a week in their gym gear? More importantly, would they want to?

An article in The Washington Post has started a pitch for offices around the world to embrace the ‘Casual Friday’ idea that employees should be able to wear workout gear to work.

The idea, writer Vicky Hallet says, lies on the basic premise that people already wearing workout gear are more likely to exercise – before, during or after work. Or at the very least, they’ll think about it.

There’s no secret employers in Singapore are getting serious about employee health and their commitment to physical activity.

In a Human Resources feature, Doris Ooi, vice-president of human resources rewards for global markets at Unilever, said taking care of employee wellbeing it “leads to increased productivity and improved performance for both the individual and [the company]”.

Any new programme or policy that has a positive effect on the business and the individual employee is a plus – but could this idea really work?

A one-day-a-week, optional workout wear day is of no cost to the employer, which is a plus. But the key would lie in finding out whether this is something staff feel they want. If not, it could very easily feel as though the company is enforcing mandatory exercising, or the idea could just become boring.

Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management, told the Washington Post a culture of wellness needs to already be established – clothes alone can’t do that.

“You don’t want to just say, ‘It’s Friday! You can wear sweats to work.’ It’ll get old quickly,” he said.

So, what do you think? Does Workout Wednesdays or Fitness Fridays have legs?

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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