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Should Employers Offer Free Gym Memberships as Employee Incentive?

We all know the benefits of working out and staying on top of our physical health. When it comes to your employees, the benefits of being physically healthy are almost endless. 

Healthier employees are sick less often, are less tired, and tend to be in better moods. Healthier and happier employees are also great for productivity and morale.

From the mental and physical health benefits to the tax and employee retention benefits for you, offering free gym memberships can be an invaluable benefit.

Here is a round-up of just a few of the reasons why free gym memberships for your employees is a great investment.

Free Gym Memberships Promote Mental Wellness

Giving your employees a corporate gym membership has several benefits outside of just physical fitness. People who work out regularly also see great mental health improvements as well.

The American Psychological Association talks about how mental health professionals can even use exercise as a form of treatment.

Just five minutes after exercising you’ll see a mood-enhancing effect. People who work out regularly will also see long-term benefits for depression and anxiety.

Employees who are in better mental states, will enjoy being at work, want to stay longer, and are more likely to recruit other good employees. An internal resource pool system can also help leverage internal staffing resources and better help your organization with scheduling and performance evaluations.

Happier employees are more productive, work better together, and are easier to work with. Everyone will feel the effects of a less stressful and more symbiotic work environment.

Gym Memberships Keep Employees Healthy

It’s no secret that physical fitness is good for everyone. By offering an employee benefits gym membership, you’ll be making an investment in your employee’s health. Physically fit people are going to have less sick days, they may not need as many major surgeries, and they will also need fewer prescription drugs.

A research paper published by New York University discusses how physical activity may actually be better than prescription medications for receiving several physical conditions.

You’ll greatly recoup the cost of the gym membership by having employees need less medication and less time off for illnesses, medical appointments, and medical treatments.

A healthier work environment is not only great for productivity but also for morale. People who are happier with their physical appearance will feel less stressed and more focused on other tasks. Physically fit people are far less tired and sluggish as well.

With employees who have regular access to physical fitness, you’ll see employees who are more productive, and more active.

You’ll Reduce Turnover

Keeping your employees physically fit will also greatly help with their stress levels. Exercise has actually been proven to help our bodies regulate their stress response

People who are less stress at work are far more likely to stay. Having a high turnover rate in your organization means more training, more stress on existing employees, and more time spent on recruiting and hiring.

An employer-paid gym membership is a great perk. This is just one less expense that your employees need to think about. It’s something that not all organizations offer and one that can really go a long way to keeping your employees happy in the workplace.

You Can Recruit Top Talent

It’s hard to find qualified talent in any field. The most qualified and talented professionals are highly coveted. To stay competitive, you need to provide your employees with benefits that set you apart.

By offering a free gym membership to your employees, you’ll have a leg up when it comes to recruiting top talent. In a world where employees are asked to work over forty hours and always be connected on their phones, people need a little perk to stay motivated.

With a corporate gym membership, new recruits may see this perk as a major cost savings as well. This is one less bill your new talent will have to cover. This can really make your organization look more attractive. Especially when it comes to new, younger talent, who often make physical fitness a high priority.

Is a Gym Membership Tax Deductible?

Now you may be wondering is a gym membership tax-deductible for a business? As an employer, you may be worried about losing a taxable benefit for your employees. Will employees be upset that they may have to pay taxes on the free membership at the end of the year.

If you can show that the membership offers the business as a primary beneficiary, it may not be seen as a taxable refit come tax time. This will save your employees money.

You can also use a local gym facility and have the memberships transferred to your business. Your employees will be able to use the benefit and it will not be considered taxable income.

This puts money in their pockets as well as yours when it comes to tax time each year.

You’re Promoting a Sense of Community

When it comes to personal health, a company that shows they care by offering health benefits and a gym membership, you’re creating a sense of community. Your employees will feel like you care about them and their well-being.

Not only will your employees feel like you care, but they will also see that you’re investing in them. By providing this perk, you’re showing that you want to keep them employed for the long haul.

The benefit of a free gym membership will go a long way to show employees that you want to keep them happy and healthy. Your entire organization becomes closer and works better together the longer everyone is working together.

The simple act of taking one payment off of your employee’s plate also shows that you care about their financial well being. Gym memberships can add up, reducing your employee’s cost of living even by a little each month is a priceless investment in them.

For more business tips, legal advice and helpful staffing guides, visit the business articles section for additional resources.