IPC Media has launched pilates classes and a bikes for work scheme to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace and reduce sickness absence levels among its 2,200 employees. The media company set up the weekly pilates classes in August and hopes to entice at least 30 employees to each session. If the scheme is successful, it will then introduce yoga classes.
Ashley Bestwick, compensation and benefits manager, explained: "We are taking part in an ‘active at work’ programme and want to encourage [good] health among staff, especially those who are sat at desks." Although reducing sickness absence was not the main driver behind the schemes, it was one of the reasons considered when they were introduced. "We definitely thought about sickness absence. There are two sides of the coin, because although [the programme] increases awareness around health, it also improves absence and hopefully keeps employees more engaged and motivated at work," said Bestwick.
Its bikes for work scheme was launched following requests from employee councils. The company is now reviewing its long service awards which offer employees cash and gift bonuses after 15, 25 and 35 years’ service.