Half The Effort, Double The Impact: How To Maximize Employee Wellbeing

Wellness programs were often viewed as a challenging initiative for organizations around the world. Finally, times are changing and companies focus on how to maximize employee wellbeing.

The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for a huge change in the workplace with the utilization of technology revolutionizing how, when, and where we work.

Worldwide, an increase in remote and hybrid model working has resulted in the formation of a new normal’ that, in turn, requires companies to adapt how they deliver corporate wellness programs to their workforce. 

The rapidly changing needs of employees have been increasingly recognized by employers worldwide. Companies are understanding the bottom-line value of employee wellness in their organizations better and better. But while change is vital for corporate health and wellness, it can feel overwhelming.

Below, we discuss the crucial role of health and wellbeing programs and their relationship with workplace philosophy and values. If you’re looking to revolutionize your company’s health and wellbeing initiatives, we reveal how digital platforms are leading the way for corporate wellness and discuss some common challenges faced by HR professionals.

Find out more about our Corporate Health software!

Corporate Health and Wellbeing Programs Matter

We are living in unprecedented times. Research indicates that more than 7 out of 10 Britons are not exercising enough, with a quarter of over 55’s not exercising at all since the pandemic began.

In addition, remote working has increased the likelihood of a sedentary lifestyle by up to 28% throughout the pandemic.

Data published by Vitality from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (the UK’s largest workplace wellbeing survey) indicated that the UK economy loses almost £92 billion a year through workplace absence related to ill-health.

According to OECD Health Policy Studies, the direct costs of absenteeism and presenteeism are around £4,600 per employee per year, with obesity resulting in a 3% loss of productivity across the workforce due to illness, lower performance, and absenteeism.

And our Mental Health is Suffering Too!

Research indicates that stress is the number one cause of absenteeism in the workplace, with 50-60% of absent days linked to work-related stress. 41% of people also stated a decline in their mental state since the start of the pandemic.

Organizations are now challenged with recognizing, reflecting, and responding to changes in their workforce. Part of this challenge is learning how to adapt to the unique shift in the wants and needs of their human capital. This means providing tools for employees to nurture their health and wellbeing in a time of extreme stress and anxiety.

The 5 Biggest Challenges for HR Professionals to Maximize Employee Wellbeing

When it comes to nurturing and growing the company workforce, HR faces 5 common challenges:

  • ATTRACTING TOP TALENT
  • ENGAGING THE WORKFORCE
  • IMPROVING EMPLOYEE VITALITY
  • OPTIMIZING PRODUCTIVITY
  • RETAINING TOP TALENT

A company’s health and wellbeing program can either positively or negatively impact each of the above five areas. Many companies are now giving their wellbeing initiatives a more focal position in the workplace.

Data published by Vitality found that 85% of homeworkers stated that companies who take employee health and wellbeing seriously would be an important future career consideration! However, forming an effective, successful health and wellbeing scheme isn’t a simple process.

The Overarching Corporate Health and Wellbeing Philosophy

A wellbeing philosophy is a formalized way of creating a vision and mission statement around wellbeing support and coverage within a company. Traditionally, company culture and wellness schemes were siloed rather than informing one another; this often created miscommunication and misalignment between the two areas.

The new workplace revolution calls for a more integrated approach to culture and wellness, following the increase in remote and hybrid working. By allowing both areas to work side-by-side, the company can foster its culture and respond to the ever-evolving wellbeing needs of its employees.

For example, if a company’s culture is to cultivate community, how can they support this via their wellbeing initiatives? How can they bring people together?

How a Corporate Health and Wellbeing Philosophy is Built

Company culture should define a health and wellbeing program. You can form and manage this philosophy according to these three aspects:

  1. Defining how resources are distributed
  2. Deciding how decisions are made
  3. Determining how things get done

Ultimately, our behavior shapes every stage of formation and management; this creates a culture within the company which can then inform its wellbeing practices.

The Best Practises for Building a Corporate Health and Wellbeing Philosophy

There are 5 best practices for building a philosophy:

  1. ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES (EARLY AND OFTEN)
  2. BUY-IN LEADERSHIP
  3. APPOINT WELLNESS CHAMPIONS
  4. DECIDE A PROGRAM BUDGET
  5. OFFER INCENTIVES AND REWARDS

By incentivizing the process, employees feel involved and invested in the company and its beliefs. But with such an overhaul in workplace practices since the start of the pandemic, how can companies adapt and execute programs to suit ‘the new normal?’

The Benefits of Healthcare Technology for any Company

According to a Workplace Wellness Programs Study Report, employee wellness programs improve long-term healthy behaviors in employees- both physically and mentally. In short, we need them! So how do we make them effective and relevant?

We live in a digital age with a vast array of digital tools at our fingertips; technology is a great enabler for improving workplace culture in this way. Simple mobile applications can allow companies to provide effective, digital wellbeing programs to both employers and employees.

Health and wellbeing content can be rich, varied, and personalized. And so it can facilitate better engagement and enhance community interaction within the workplace. Regardless of business level.

It is also an incredible opportunity to embrace the new working environment by connecting and engaging people regardless of location.

With the rise in the usage of wearable technology for employees, technology has fast become the most intelligent way to access content, whether employees are remote working or in the office.

Maximize Employee Wellbeing: The Takeaway

Well-executed health and wellbeing programs form an integral part of company culture, particularly in more recent times. Technology allows companies to offer a more personalized wellness journey to their workforce, catering to the unique needs of each individual.

By diversifying wellness content, companies can provide more choice and better support for their team with more inclusive and relevant content. After all, we don’t hire the same people, so why do we offer everyone the same wellness journey?

DISCOVER VIRTUAGYM’S CORPORATE HEALTH SOFTWARE

Our 24/7 digital platform is accessible by mobile app and features home workouts, food tracking, meditations, a digital community, and plenty of health and wellness content- all at the touch of a button and connected through HR software.

Gyms Share How Virtuagym’s Fitness Technology Helps Them Thrive

Fitness technology is becoming more and more important to the industry. Rapid digitization has given way to a host of fitness technology trends – it’s hard to imagine running a fitness business without a gym booking app or maintaining an active online community. And there’s so much more! So how does technology actually help fitness businesses?

In this blog, we share how Virtuagym technology has helped certain fitness businesses thrive. We will look at their journeys through quarantine and since reopening. And, of course, how it can help your gym, studio, or as a Personal Trainer to get ready for a tech-driven future and growth!

DAG ÉÉN – Hyper-Personalization Through Fitness Technology

How does technology help fitness? In many ways – but the personal trainers at DAG ÉÉN make the absolute most of the digital tools at their disposal. Their unique and highly successful, yet completely remote, program utilizes Virtuagym’s app for nutrition, coaching, and fitness together with the NEO Health Watch and the NEO Health smart scales.

Specifically, technology helps the trainers securely gather data on their customer’s daily lives remotely. And so they can hyper-personalize the plans for their clients and give them the exact support they need. Ultimately, fitness technology helps their clients to stay accountable, as the trainers successfully lead them through a uniquely personalized 6-week program.

How successful? Let’s just say that since starting in October 2020, there has consistently been a waiting list for new clients.

“It is a daily ritual – every day we check the weight and measurement results, the number of steps taken, how they have slept and their nutrition according to the nutrition plan – it is a lot, but that is the secret to success: data is the means to achieve the goal.”

Patrick Janssen, Co-founder DAG ÉÉN

Your Personal Training – Offering an all-in-one solution for Personal Trainers

One of the United Kingdom’s most successful personal training management companies, Your Personal Training helps Personal Trainers reach their goals with a team of dedicated and skillful regional coaches. So they, of course, could not miss out on the fitness technology trend to help them hybridize their approach.

With Virtuagym’s fitness technology, Your Personal Training launched their ‘Your Wellbeing’ app. This is a unique fitness management app that can be personalized for each user – consolidating the aspects of three or four different fitness apps into one.

Your Wellbeing supports Personal Trainers in running and managing their business in a more efficient and streamlined way. And ultimately this enables them to focus on what they do best – training clients!

By embracing a hybrid approach, our Personal Trainers can give their clients direction and support based on their needs in a cost effective way, helping them to achieve more holistic all-body health”

Aaron McCulloch, Managing Director, Your Personal Training

040FIT – Engaging the Local Community Online and Offline

You would assume that with seven locations, it would be a real challenge to keep clients engaged through the lockdown – and beyond. So allow us to introduce 040FIT, known for the tight-knit fitness communities at each of their locations, who didn’t hesitate to jump on the hybrid fitness trend and move their community online.

Through their gym booking app they offered outdoor classes, slots for indoor work-outs, and livestreamed lessons for their remote customers. In the meantime, staff personal trainers have intensified their efforts with the coaching and nutrition apps too. And so they have made huge strides in personalizing workout schedules for clients at home and in-facility.

040FIT kept their online community engaged with challenges and prizes, but also organized social events such as hikes, which clients could enjoy while socially distancing.

And this all achieved great success. The combined effort of digital outreach to their online community through their app, and good old-fashioned phone calls from trainers to customers, resulted in an average of 1,500 class bookings a month in 2021.

Through the app we were able to coach our clients remotely and support them with nutrition advice, work-out schedules, outdoor training and a lively community! It’s an asset to every club.

Eric Thus, Manager Asten – 040FIT

Power40 – Enabling a Complete Health with Tech

How can you grow your fitness business in the middle of the pandemic and thrive? Power40 did it with the help of fitness technology: by providing their clients with additional value outside their brick-and-mortar gym.

Customer demands have changed, with people looking for fitness services that accommodate their schedules – not the other way around. If you ask this future-focused team, fitness technology and gym booking apps are the way forward. Above all, they will give the customer of tomorrow the flexibility they desire.

Accessibility for everyone is one of Power40’s core values. And with Virtuagym’s apps and content, their clients can access a full suite of health and wellness content. Whenever they want it, wherever they need it.

“About a month ago, we had a snowstorm that hit Memphis, and everything was knocked down for about a week, and people were not able to come to our studio. But, through Virtuagym, we were still able to provide them with workouts to do at home.

Wesley Ashcraft, the Director of Power40

 

As you have read, fitness technology helps gyms, studios, and personal trainers in a plethora of ways. Virtuagym’s all-in-one software solution supports your fitness business in all aspects – from scheduling, to payments and your own personalized fitness app.  It’s time to discover what we can do for you – so book your free demo today!

Book your demo

The Importance of a Hybrid Health and Wellness Solution for Hybrid Workplaces

During the pandemic, almost 50% of the US workforce worked remotely.

And the vast majority of employees want to continue working remotely moving forward.

Large tech companies, such as Zillow, have even announced their support by continuing to allow employees to work remotely, even if it’s just part-time.

Hybrid working encourages the best of both worlds by striking a better work-life balance. 

Employees can prioritize health and wellbeing while benefitting from more flexible working opportunities.

The Role of Technology in the Hybrid Workplace

We have seen a monumental rise in the utilization of technology in the workplace to support remote working.

And with 77% of telecommuters reporting more productivity in their workday, it could well be our future.

Technology not only keeps us connected during the remote workday, but can also help teams to stay healthy when working from home.

Therefore, a hybrid workplace also requires a hybrid health and wellness solution that employees can tap into- whenever, wherever.

A complete software health and wellness solution can help alleviate the specific challenges that remote working poses, both physically and mentally.

The question is, in a rapidly changing climate, what are the pros and cons of a hybrid workplace model?

And how can employers ensure their teams remain happy, healthy, and productive in this new working landscape?

Stay ahead of the game and discover the 4 key health and wellness trends in 2021!

The Challenges of Working Remotely

While there are plenty of pros to remote working, some inevitable cons remain worth consideration. Learn more in-depth about how to help employees manage time effectively when working from home!

Physical health

One challenge currently faced by employees is the worsening of physical health. 

Remote working has led to an increase in makeshift home-office setups which can leave employees more prone to potential injury.

Our laptop, mouse, and keyboard setup can encourage poor posture and alignment, causing unwanted strain and tension on joints.

In fact, repetitive motion injury (muscular strain) is thought to cost the US approximately $20 billion per year in worker’s compensation alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And according to research conducted by Nuffield Health,seven out of 10 remote workers reported an increase in aches and pains despite incorporating physical activity into their home routine.

Remote working has also seen a rise of sedentary lifestyles of up to 28% throughout the pandemic, which, coupled with poor ergonomics, can put even more strain on the body.

Mental Health

Mental health plays a crucial role in remote working considerations.

In the fallout from lockdown, there has been a significant decline in mental health, including loneliness, uncertainty, and anxiety about the future and returning to work.

Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation concluded that 56% of people said they felt more stressed and anxious about work than before the pandemic; this further rose to 72% in 18-24 year-olds and 64% in 24-35 year-olds.

Growing evidence, as reported by Vitality,also suggests that 50% of all homeworkers reported anxiety over physically returning to work.

Expectations and needs have changed fundamentally following the pandemic.

There is clearly a need for businesses to shift towards a more inclusive ‘healthy hybrid’ working blueprint which encompasses change in work-life balance, physical and mental wellbeing, and flexible working.

So, how do you incorporate a hybrid health and wellness solution into the hybrid workplace?

And why should you?

The Pros of Remote Working

Working remotely has produced many benefits since the beginning of the pandemic, including increased productivity and a better work-life balance.

According to Vitality, 55% of homeworkers found they were more productive when working from home, with 44% of remote workers finding it easier to manage their mental health and wellbeing.

An astonishing 85% of homeworkers even stated that taking employee health and wellbeing seriously would be an important future career consideration.

Working in a more comfortable environment, free from the daily commute, has improved the quality of how people work.

Flexible working also provides employees with more time to spend on well-being.

What’s more, data published by Vitality from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, the UK’s largest workplace wellbeing survey, indicated that the UK economy loses almost £92 billion a year through workplace absence from ill-health.

When people feel well, they often perform better in the workplace, creating a shared value between employees, businesses, and society.

When employees feel valued, businesses are more likely to retain talent and increase productivity and reputation.

How to Implement a Hybrid Health and Wellbeing Model into a Hybrid Workplace

The pandemic has made us look at what is important in life- looking after ourselves and others.

Implementing an employee wellness program could just be your answer!

According to a , employee wellness programs improve long-term healthy behaviors in employees- both physically and mentally. 

So, how do you get there?

Corporate health software programs bundle together the very best health and wellbeing tools into an accessible all-in-one package.

Designed to foster healthier living amongst remote workers, corporate health programs make it easier than ever to strike a happier work-life balance.

Technology is central to hybrid employee wellness -read more about the emerging trend of wearable fitness technology!

Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review indicates that corporate health programs can increase employee satisfaction, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity.

Companies investing in such strategies have proven to strengthen organizational culture and cultivate trust and commitment, alongside making significant financial savings.

Our 24/7 digital platform can be accessed by mobile app and features home workouts, food tracking, meditations, a digital community, and plenty of wellness content- all at the touch of a button and connected through your HR software.

 

Discover Virtuagym’s Health Software

The Takeaway

So, is the hybrid workplace a blessing or a burden?

We do not know what the future has in store for the remote workplace, but there is plenty of sufficient evidence to support remote working as a far healthier and more productive opportunity for businesses, employees, and society.

Let’s support our well-being too!

 

 

How to Prepare your Gym for the September Peak

After gyms finally reopened, hopes were high for a peak in new clients coming in. Clients, who finally, after a long winter of closures and rise in awareness of the importance of health in quarantine, would join gyms in droves. After missing out on the wave New Year’s resolution-ists in January, gyms are looking to recoup some of the losses they suffered during the pandemic.  But as schools are out for summer, and with social life finally getting back to normal, people are pushing their ‘getting fit’ plans back. First, enjoy the summer, then get back to work in the gym.

So what can you do to prepare to successfully entice and convert the prospects that will be looking for a gym to shed the summer-fun pounds? And maybe more importantly, how can you get your business ready to offer them the best possible customer experience in your gym this September peak?

Getting Ready with Your Marketing Strategy

First off, don’t wait. If you want clients to join your gym at the September peak, you need to fire up your marketing machine now.

Competition in September will be stiff: many gym-goers are free agents now. And they will be inundated with offers in September to restart their fitness journey. So you want to stay ahead of your competition – not only with a modern and complete fitness offering, seamless user experience, but you want your brand to be top of mind for your prospects.

When your prospective clients start thinking about joining a gym in a couple of weeks, yours should be the first place they think to check out. By showing them ads on social media or Google, sending emails, or even printing a flyer and putting it in their mailbox, you can prime your prospects to your brand. By the time your prospective clients are ready for the decision, they will already be familiar with your brand and offering. This will put you several steps ahead of the competition on the journey to conversion!

Essential marketing tools to get clients back into your gym

The possibilities when it comes to marketing are endless. From easy-to-use channels like Instagram all the way to optimizing your website with SEO techniques, there is something for everyone. But whichever tool you choose to utilize, make sure it’s the right one for reaching your target audience. Learn more about effective communication strategies for your gym!

Social media is an easy yet effective tool to only increase your online visibility, but also a great basis for building your online community. People are more likely to stick to a brand if they feel emotionally invested – for example, if their friends or family belong to the same community. Go to where your target audience is – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. – and encourage people to share, download, and comment on your videos can increase engagement and get people talking!

Do you want to start building your online presence? Check out 7 Instagram hacks to boost your fitness account!

Are you looking to invest in quicker conversions? Google Ads is the way for you. Publishing Google Ads based on keywords and local search criteria (fitness studio near me, gym in X, etc.) can bring you customers who are more eager to buy because they are searching for their exact needs.

Pro Tip:Local SEO works wonders in gym and fitness studio niches. Since people search the facilities around them and optimizing your search engine results with local keywords, addresses, and working on Google Maps and Google My Business listings can boost your Google presence basically for free!

Click here for more tips on increasing your online visibility.

Finally, your current clients are your strongest (and cheapest!) marketing tool. Up to 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth marketing, from, for example, their friends and family. So make your clients your ambassadors!

A referral program, or special trial membership for prospects introduced by current clients, is the most direct and sustainable route to take to new memberships.

Go Hybrid for the September Peak

We have all had the chance to get acquainted with the advantages of a hybrid fitness offering – mixing online, offline and outside workouts and classes have given clients more choice and flexibility. And this hybrid trend is far from over!

Despite any ongoing restrictions, you want to be able to serve more clients in your gym. With a digital offering alongside your brick-and-mortar gym, you have an ongoing offer for your clients, no matter the circumstance.

As occupancy indoors may be limited, your clients don’t have to miss out on classes when the physical sessions are fully booked. Prepare your gym for the September Peak with the 5 Things Fitness Businesses Should Have Set Up Online in 2021.

A great way to make your offering hybrid – tried and tested in the last 18 months – is livestreaming classes through social media such a Facebook, Instagram, or even YouTube. This way you not only keep your clients engaged when are not, or can’t be at the gym. And you give them more value for their money!

As local restrictions may still be subject to sudden change, you don’t want to lose prospects or clients. Imagine they need to for example quarantine because of a sick roommate or family member. Or maybe a client is moving away but wants to continue their fitness journey with their personal trainer of choice. By going digital, it is easier than ever to adapt nutrition and workout plans for these unforeseen circumstances.

And the one trend you don’t want to miss out on? Outdoor fitness endures as the most popular option in gyms, studios, and personal trainers.

There’s an app for that

How can you engage your clients from one central hub, and offer them the most seamless customer experience when it comes to booking classes, time slots, accessing video content, and getting in touch with your community? Your own app of course!

Your own branded mobile app is the ultimate tool for the modern fitness business to keep clients engaged and active. And it’s not as difficult to get one as it sounds, trust us.

Learn from Your Personal Training in the UK, who went on the journey to digitize their operations. With Virtuagym they launched the Your Wellbeing App, which supports PTs in running and managing their business by being more efficient and streamlined. This enables them to focus on what they do best – training clients!

A management system will save you time

Getting more clients into your digital gym or online classes means it is important to create a seamless user experience. For your clients, for your staff, and, well, for you! You don’t want to be stuck doing endless paperwork when you should be focussing on making sure your clients are getting the attention they need.

A gym management system will help you get your back end – so your administration, membership management, and scheduling –  automated and integrated. No more paperwork, lost post-its, or unclarity about missed payments or following up prospects. But digitizing and centralizing the running of your business will enable you to spend time focussing on your growth and future-proofing your business. Do you want to learn more? Discover the 10 Advantages of Having a Gym Management System.

And it’s not just about making your back-end operation smoother. To get your gym ready for the September peak, you want to be able to easily convert your prospective clients. Lead Management software is essential to keep a firm grip on all potential clients requesting information, trial lessons, referrals from clients – you name it.

As the competition for new clients will be fierce, you don’t want to miss opportunities by forgetting to call a prospect, or failing to follow up. All this is discussed in depth in Locating Prospective Clients Has Never Been Easier With Virtuagym’s Lead Management Software!

Do you feel like it’s a lot to take in? Don’t worry. Virtuagym can help you and your gym make the most of the September peak. Book your free demo with Virtuagym today, and discover how our software can help your business make the most of the coming months. Because it’s never too late (or too early!) to start with building a better business!

Financial Planning for a Successful Personal Training Business

Starting a personal training business requires more than just knowledge about fitness. You obviously also need to start considering finances and management. It’s time to do the math and calculate your costs and pricing to estimate possible profit and start a structured and efficient business. The last thing you want is to destroy your dreams because of poor budgeting!

Of course, when you’re working as an employed personal trainer, your finances will be relatively structured. You have set rates, and you receive a regular salary as a personal trainer which will help you stay financially secure.

As a freelance personal trainer, however, this is something you need to be more careful with. That’s why this article will go over the essential elements of financial planning and how to finance your personal training business. It is imperative to have a sound financial strategy for your personal training business.

How Much Do You Earn as a Personal Trainer?

An important question is “How much should you charge for a personal training session?” The answer is, it depends. Rates vary immensely. It’s possible that a client is willing to pay up to $200 for a personal training session. On the other hand, others won’t want to spend more than $30.

What is important, is to understand your location and the people who live there: they are your immediate target audience, so look for ways to appeal to them.  Starting a premium service in a college town for example will limit your potential target audience. It is essential to take this into account for your finance as a personal trainer.

It’s understandable that an experienced trainer will cost a lot more than a trainer who just started out. As a personal trainer who is employed in a gym in the US, your annual salary will range between $40-70k. As an independent contractor, on average, you can earn up to 50% more – at the cost of higher financial risk.

For both independent and employed personal trainers, yearly salaries and rates can be distinctively higher depending on specializations, experience, and education – in some cases, they even reach 6 digits.

Discover tried and tested business models for personal trainers that will lead to a financially solid personal training business.

Initial Investment and Operational Expenses

Before starting any kind of business, consider the initial investment. As a personal trainer getting your finances in order, the first thing you need to be aware of the fact that a certain certification is needed. Therefore, these mandatory costs have to be planned in the cost structure.

If you do not have a gym paying for this, you have to calculate these expenses in your financial planning, no matter if you’re freelancing or employed.  A Personal training certification is not a cheap affair as it will cost you a lower-4-digit sum.

There might be other starting out costs that you didn’t count. Especially when working independently, additional equipment costs such as ropes and kettlebells might come into play, but also electronic devices like a proper laptop or trackers (if you do not own them or prefer not to use your personal items), as well as personal training software.

And don’t forget the marketing: the costs for uniforms, graphic design, website, maybe even social media ads. Make sure you consider all these costs in your financial plan as they come up before you start.

Start off strong with our tips for a great website for your personal training business.

To successfully operate your business, you will have recurring operational costs. If you work independently, you will need to pay a fee to the gyms you work in or rent your own place. For employed trainers, rent shouldn’t be a concern. Other costs include but are not limited to stationery, accounting, travel expenses, marketing, and insurance costs.

Concerning your insurance, security is always the highest priority. Make sure you are insured properly to build up a sustainable and solid business. The costs always depend on how you set up your fitness business and should be taken into account for your financial strategy.

How Much Should You Charge For a Personal Training Session?

You already know the amount of the necessary establishment costs and the money needed throughout your first year. So once you have a clear picture of the size of your investment, it is time to think about the pricing strategy.  But as we did not consider all the other costs yet, you have to take those into account before trying to find the right price.

Don’t forget to account for tax. Taxes depend on the country you’re working in. If you forget to calculate taxes in your planning, your personal savings will be smaller and that new car or dream vacation will be far, far away. But as you can see in the calculation tool, it is not hard at all to keep an overview of the due amount of taxes. On a side note, keep in mind that taking care of your taxes is also a time investment, but necessary for proper financial planning.

Motivated clients stay with your personal training business longer – learn about the right tools and strategies to increase client motivation.

Personal Expenses

Also take into consideration that you have to estimate your personal requirements, like living expenses and personal debts. If you do personal training as a second job, take your regular salary into consideration. You can’t live in a gym, and you can’t eat dumbbells. So include your rent, money spent on food, entertainment and so on.

Furthermore, in case you raised credit, had your equipment financed, plan to pay off your personal debt this year: don’t leave these costs out. As an entrepreneur, you don’t just strive to break even. You also want to earn enough money to have some personal savings and not just operate in the black. So take these extras into account.

Alright, now that you have calculated the total cost and estimated your personal savings, you know how much you need to earn.

First, let’s think about the price for one training session. What pricing suits your level of experience and service, and what’s affordable to the client base you want to target? Don’t forget to calculate taxes per session and add them to your pricing. After that, you can calculate how many paid personal training sessions you have to perform per year to reach your goals.

Balance Your Work

Session cost and the number of sessions per year will allow you to shed some light on the number of clients you need to acquire for financial security as a personal trainer. Nobody but you know how much time and energy you really have. And this is nobody’s decision but yours. Whether you want to take it easy or go all-in, consider beforehand how much you can put into your personal training business.

With fewer clients, you might be able to offer better quality for a higher price, while more clients will give you more options to keep the cash flow going. Also, think about how much time you want to invest in each client. To find the right number of clients for your pricing, you need to determine some other variables. All these things are part of the financial strategy you need to determine

Knowing how many vacation weeks you want to have per year and how often you would like to train your clients, on average, will make it easy to determine the number of clients required. This will give you a baseline to determine your rate, which will ultimately determine the salary you pay yourself as a personal trainer.

When you keep in mind what you personally expect to get out of this, how much is left over at the end, and how many clients you will be able to train, you will more or less get an idea of what you need to cover these costs. As an orientation, most independent trainers charge an hourly rate of $45 – 90 per hour depending on their qualifications, location of the sessions, and the number of total sessions.

Good management software for your personal training business will not only save you time, but will help you keep your finances in order.

Wrapping Up the Financial Planning

All in all, there are a lot of expenses you have to deal with. Whether it’s the cost of your personal life or your operating costs and the start-up capital. Once you have made a realistic estimation of those costs, you can set a price for your personal training sessions.

Also, decide for yourself how many weeks you want to work and how often you want to train your clients. Think about pricing structures, package deals, and add-ons you could offer. But ultimately, a good work-life balance is vital to keep you going in the long run, but it partly determines your income and financial security as well.

How to Attract and Retain Top Talent with Your Company’s Employee Wellness Program

In a highly competitive market, companies need new strategies to attract and retain top talent. Salary is no longer enough! Employees want to feel that the company cares for them and helps them grow personally and professionally. A new generation of workers is demanding more of their employers – so how do you stand out to attract and retain them in a competitive market?

Let look first at what top talents are looking for in a job: they want flexibility, a good company culture, meaningful work, and attractive benefits.

A unique corporate culture that emphasizes its genuine concern for its employees’ well-being is essential for this. Corporate wellness programs are quickly becoming the ultimate employer differentiator. Companies that focus on enabling their workers to find a work-life balance enjoy a significant return on investment, contributing to their success! Indeed, an employee who feels well in his body and his mind is a happy employee and therefore is more productive at work! So, let’s start from the beginning.

Why implement an employee wellness program?

Even today, plenty of companies do not invest in programs to encourage a healthy lifestyle for their workers. Most corporate jobs consist of a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food habits (the infamous lunch al desko). Mental factors such as stress and the imbalance between work and private life have only recently gained more attention as factors that impede employee performance.

Beyond the short term impact on productivity, the long term effects on costs from chronic diseases for employers and employees can not be negated. Needless to say, healthy employees make for a healthy company! 

 

The expectations of the more health conscious workforce

Research by Forbes has shown that the importance of corporate wellness program shave grown across the board.  87% of  employees even consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer. And as was mentioned above, the younger generations entering the job market put even more value on these programs. For 54% and 58% of Gen Z’s and millennials respectively, it is even a determining factor when making a job decision.

Furthermore, a recent survey determined that 67% of employees who work for organizations with wellness programs like their jobs more and are very likely to recommend their employer to others. And it’s not just the employees: 73% of consumers think wellness should be an essential element of a brand’s strategy. After all, consumers like brands that have more consideration for the health of their employees better.

Despite this, only 40% of employers prioritize their employee wellness strategy, and only 25% emphasize it in their recruitment strategy for new talent. So, time to step up and stand out from the competition!

Together with Virtuagym you can set up an easy-to-use corporate wellness program. With your own branded app, integration with wearables and other software, you can offer your employees a complete health and wellness experience. Attract and retain top talent for your company with a corporate wellness program that benefits everyone.

5 benefits of a good wellness program for your company

Above we talked about why employees think corporate wellness programs are important, and we briefly touched upon the benefits for your company. Let’s dive deeper into that, and see how a solid health and wellness program can help you as an employer.

1. Better health and less tress

Reduce health care costs by improving your team’s health. A recent Harvard research study showed that for every dollar spent on the employee wellness program, the company saves about $3.27 in medical costs.

Reduce stress

A study found that about one-third of employees feel that their workplace is a significant source of stress and directly affects their health. They experience fatigue, anxiety and sometimes observe weight gain. So if you provide your staff with tools to help them take care of their health and better manage stress at the same time, they will reward you with loyalty. But ultimately, healthier and happier employees make for a happier and healthier company.

2. Lower absenteeism & presenteeism

A company culture that focuses on employee health and wellness, supported by a robust corporate health program, will result in a workforce that is ultimately more productive. Not only that, but in the long term, employers will be able to save on investing in healthcare costs.

Fewer, less often absent employees

Wellness programs have been shown to reduce employee absenteeism and related costs by $2.73 for every dollar spent on it. On average, it reduces absenteeism by 1.8 days of absence per employee per year. This means healthy and well rested employees take less sick days and are more productive.

Lower presenteeism

While a robust corporate health strategy can help your employees to be healthier and thus take less sick days, it can also save cost and human capital on the side of presenteeism. This means your employees  are physically present in the workplace but not working – wether this is because they are struggling with mental of physical ailments. It is currently estimated that the cost around presenteeism is two to three times greater than direct health care expenditures.

3. A better work-life balance

As our jobs have come into our homes since last the pandemic, it has caused a shift in the perception of the work-life balance. More than ever, employees are conscious of their time and how that is affecting their health. A survey shows that work-life balance is the second most important thing, according to the 39 000 developers that were asked. A corporate health program for remote and in-facility employees is at the core of fostering a culture focussed on health and wellness. And it has other benefits for both employees and employers.

Lower turnover

45% of employees in small to medium-size companies would stay at their jobs longer if they felt the company care about their well-being and offered programs to support their health and wellness.

Higher productivity

We mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating: healthier employees are happier, and happier employees are more productive, contributing to companies’ financial health. Research shows that on average, the higher productivity per employee results in an 11% increase in revenue.

Learn more about how to inspire you remote workforce through fitness and wellness!

4. Enhanced brand reputation

“Customers can sense when an employer takes care of its people.” Healthy teams are committed to going above and beyond for your company, and that will improve your reputation with customers. It highlights that you genuinely care about the well-being of your employees, and so your customers will therefore be sensitive to the values your brand conveys.

5. Financial benefits

Of course, while you invest in your workforce, you need to look after the bottom line of your enterprise too. We mentioned some financial benefits of corporate wellness programs above, we are even more long term high level financial benefits it brings.

There is a clear link between companies that invest in employee wellness programs and stock performance. Generally, companies that foster a healthy workforce were rewarded with a higher stock market quotation. It is suggested that a better brand reputation, but also more productive teams, add to this.

Finally, it is really worth looking to look into local, state or federal tax incentives and grants, that have been made available for launching these types of programs.

Discover how an employee wellness program contributes to your company’s financial health.

In conclusion

Your employees spend a lot of time at work, making it an ideal place to introduce new healthy habits. Show them you care about their long-term well-being by investing in their health and earn their loyalty. However, for this to work, you need to design a quality health program. We can help you with that!

Virtuagym is an all-in-one and easy-to-use solution for your company. Use it to organize fitness and wellness challenges for your remote and in-facility employees in one centralized digital hub. Provide your staff with a unique 24/7 service that gives them access to virtual training, live workout videos, meditations, challenges, and much more!

Boost your Studio’s Occupancy Rate in the Post-COVID Era

It may still seem far away, but the industries are slowly but surely preparing to reopen. Studio owners and their members are eager to set foot inside their favorite studios again. But, how can studio owners safely manage fitness centers reopening?

Post-COVID gym-goers will value hygiene and personal space more than ever. This is exactly why Virtuagym has a check-in and scheduling solution. A combination of these two functions prevents queues and speeds up the whole check-in process. Curious as to how these features can benefit you? Read on!

What Do the Check-In and Scheduling Features Entail?

The scheduling feature automates the booking process and allows members to easily book personal training sessions and group classes. You can set it up easily on your website or your custom mobile app. After signing up for a session, members will receive an automatic booking confirmation and reminder.

The class schedule can be embedded on your website, so members are aware of what classes are currently going on. Is the class fully booked? No problem. Your members can sign up for a waiting list with one click and they’ll be notified as soon as a spot opens up. They’ll be happy that they can exercise, and you’ll be happy that the class is fully booked – it’s a win-win situation.

How a class schedule makes your studio more successful

Members can buy credits and use them to sign up for classes and other services you may offer. Credits are tokens that members can purchase and use in exchange for group classes, personal training sessions, as entry permits, and much more.

The credit system ensures that members only pay for what they use. The scheduling feature also provides useful insights into attendance and class occupancy, which you can use to adjust your class offerings accordingly.

The check-in feature allows your members to easily check-in and check-out via RFID, barcode scanners, or magnetic strips. Members also have the possibility to check-in with their studio card or key tag. This gives you insights into the frequency of their visits, duration, and much more. It is even possible to link credit usage to the check-in function and create one unified system your members will appreciate.

How Do the Check-In and Scheduling Features Work?

Virtuagym strives to make all its features as user-friendly as possible, including the check-in and scheduling functions.

As previously mentioned, your studio members can easily book their classes through your website or custom mobile app. Do you prefer to be in control of bookings? We’ve made it possible to book a member into a session yourself – flexibility is key here!

Would you like to use contactless check-in and check-out? This can be easily implemented in the app – just make sure your studio’s turnstile is placed in a good location to avoid bottlenecks and crowds.

The check-in feature has been a total game changer for members because now they can do everything from the palm of their hands – no clunky wallets full of cards, no queues.

The Benefits of These Combined Features

The check-in and scheduling features are advantageous to your gym members as well as for you running a studio because they ease the flow of traffic as well as processes in your facility.

By combining these two features, you will benefit from:

  • Simplified check-in and check-out
  • Reduced queues
  • Time saved
  • Better insight into peak and off-peak hours
  • Easier attendance tracking

How Virtuagym Clients Use These Features

The check-in feature can be used with the current COVID restrictions since it allows you to keep track of attendance and ensure safety measures are complied with. Virtuagym clients are getting increasingly creative in using these two features lately as technology becomes further imbued in daily processes.

One of our clients, the corporate fitness center and chain Energy Fitness Professionals, was interested in the gym of the future even before the pandemic and therefore chose to partner with Virtuagym.

Among other features, they use our booking, scheduling, and access control systems to limit the number of members present at any given time to remain in full compliance with government restrictions. As a result, they noticed an increase in member satisfaction and even saved themselves time while digitizing.

Prepare for the Post-COVID Era

You probably can’t wait for members to walk through your doors again – and neither can we! But, of course, we all want to reopen in a safe, responsible, and fun way.

Let us help you get started today and prepare for a new era in fitness!

How do you restart the billing process?

We have all been waiting and hoping for such a long time and now the moment is finally here – gyms are reopening and we are up and running again! Of course you will have a lot to think about as you open your doors again but please don’t forget the importance of restarting your billing and invoicing!

Good preparation is half the battle

As mentioned above, it is essential to re-establish your invoicing process to prepare for accepting payments again. 

Within the Virtuagym portal, it is possible to set up offline and online payment methods such as credit card payments, direct debits, PayPal or even cash. The following payment providers are linked to these payment methods: Paypal, Paysafe, Mollie, SEPA and GoCardless.

How Virtuagym’s payment provider integrations can help you reopen

With integrations like our point of sale module, webshop, personalized credit system and online sign-up, receiving money from your members is easier than ever!

Are you curious about how you can restart the invoicing process? Then read on…

How do you set up invoicing?

Setting up invoicing in your Virtuagym portal is luckily not rocket science. But it is important to understand exactly how it works.

Firstly, carefully reconsider the payment methods you used before the COVID crisis.

After this, the setup can begin! Simply visit your online portal and select the system settings in the left sidebar. Then scroll down to the payment methods section. The location of your gym (Europe, North America or the Rest of the World) is displayed in the top right corner. Based on this location different methods and providers will become available. Then select the desired method(s) and provider(s). Please note – only one provider can be chosen per method, per club portal!

What are the benefits?

If you were using our invoicing feature before the COVID crisis, you will already be aware of its numerous advantages. But there’s no harm in emphasizing them again! Besides saving a lot of time, it also:

  • Creates a clear invoice overview
  • Simplifies the invoicing process
  • Supports the most popular payment methods
  • Guarantees security

How Virtuagym bills customers online

Many of our clients are already reaping the benefits of the automated invoicing feature. For example, Tom Fearson, founder of Be Fearsome, a London-based fitness company that offers fitness, lifestyle and adventure services to individuals, groups and businesses.

As Be Fearsome’s client list grew, Tom sought a service that could speed-up and facilitate his invoicing and go beyond just accepting card payments with a mobile card reader. That’s when he found GoCardless three years ago to expand into direct debit and credit card payments.

Since Be Fearsome could easily combine GoCardless with Virtuagym’s all-in-one package, he was able to start automating the entire invoicing process.

With all invoices, payments and tracking in one place, Be Fearsome and Tom now save time and money. This process used to take almost a full working day, but now it is done in a heartbeat. His invoicing is fully automated, which eliminates the need for Tom to keep track of payments and send regular reminders.

Get your gym ready for the reopening!

As COVID restrictions begin to lift and gyms start to open their doors again, having a clear reopening plan is of great importance! To avoid last minute stress, begin restarting your billing process now!

Questions or uncertainties? Please do not hesitate to contact us via the “contact us” button in your portal.

The Benefits of Automated Payments: Make Life Easier

Almost all entrepreneurs are familiar with this task: the utter ordeal that is invoice processing! And, as a gym or fitness club owner, you’d rather be busy with sports-related activities than spending hours processing invoices. Spending more time than necessary on admin causes stress and backlog, making the job even more time-consuming than it should be.

Especially now that gym owners are forced to work more efficiently due to the corona crisis, having a clear billing record and processing invoices securely is essential.

Thankfully, Virtuagym’s automated payment method is here to help! Read on to find out more.

What Does Automated Payment Mean?

Say goodbye to manual billing! Set up your billing flow just once, and Virtuagym takes care of the rest. Virtuagym’s invoice processing feature supports all major payment methods and integrates with the following payment providers in Europe: Paysafe, Mollie, and GoCardless.

In North America, it is possible to use Paysafe.

The only action required from your side is to set a collection date in your user portal, and Virtuagym’s software does direct debits from your members’ linked accounts.

Automating your gym’s payments allows you to focus on more important tasks – like keeping your customers happy. Virtuagym knows that gym owners prefer to spend their time guiding clients and bettering their business by working towards the bigger picture. So, why let tedious tasks take up most of your time? Sometimes, even introducing a new tool, such as automated gym payments, can be an uphill struggle.

This is why we’ve made setting up automated payments as easy as possible. As an entrepreneur, you want to save as much money and time as possible – especially during the corona crisis.

To start, you need to enable a payment provider. You can do this by going to your Virtuagym portal and selecting ‘System settings’ in the sidebar. Then click on ‘Payment methods’ and activate your chosen payment provider. You can choose between Paysafe, Mollie, and GoCardless.

After you have made your choice and set the automated payments option, a pop-up will appear on your screen. This pop-up allows you to choose whether you want to collect invoices daily, weekly, or monthly. As promised, setting it up is very easy – so after saving the frequency, setting up your automated payments is complete. Piece of cake, right?

The invoices are then collected around 2 am in your time zone and sent directly to your chosen payment provider. This process ensures that you no longer have to set personal invoice-related deadlines and you can focus your energy on other activities that need your attention.

Get Clear Insight Into Your Billing History

Having a clear overview of your organization’s billing history gives you peace of mind. With Virtuagym’s automated payment process, it is possible to view your entire invoice overview.

Simply visit your Virtuagym portal and open your ‘Financial’ page in the sidebar. Then select ‘Pending’ and ‘Direct debit’ – and voilà; you now have a complete overview of all the invoices that have been sent to your chosen payment provider.

The Benefits of Automated Payments for Fitness Centers

As mentioned previously, Virtuagym’s automated payments function has many benefits. Your business can save a tremendous amount of money because you have to invest fewer labor hours, and in short, this increases your business’s overall efficiency.

During these challenging times, it is crucial to make the best use of the time you have as a business owner and delegate the rest to software. Your competition is certainly doing so, so what’s stopping you?

Because the payment process is fully automated, it brings about many more positives such as:

  • Clear invoice overview
  • Automatic invoice archive
  • Secure invoicing
  • No more lost invoices
  • Fewer human errors
  • More freedom for staff

How Do Virtuagym Customers Use Automated Payments?

Many of Virtuagym’s customers have already chosen to make their lives a little easier by using automated billing. Below you can see an example of how easy the payment process is with Mollie, one of Europe’s most popular payment providers.

How Virtuagym's automated payments help you

One of our clients, LIJFSTIJL Coaches, is a company that serves as a knowledge network for fitness professionals. They are a household name in the Western European fitness market, with 125 franchisees and more than 25,000 members in Belgium and the Netherlands.

A few years ago, the company chose to use Virtuagym’s automated payment system. This shift meant that LIJFSTIJL Coaches and their staff now save a lot of time and money as all of their invoices, payments, and overviews exist in one place.

Before moving to automated payments, the company spent half a working day every month exporting and checking invoices. These days, they can carry out this task in just a few clicks! The entire process is automated from day one, making tracking payments and sending reminders a thing of the past! The user-friendly interface ensures that they have a clear overview of paid and outstanding invoices.

Thanks to automated payments, LIJFSTIJL Coaches save themselves a lot of time, so they can focus on improving their customer experience (which is more important than ever), boosting retention, and focusing on many more profitable projects.

Enjoy an Easier Way of Running a Gym

Are you getting behind the benefits of automating your fitness center’s invoicing and billing?

These days, more than ever, it is crucial to be efficient with your time – and Virtuagym is here to help!

Start automating your gym’s payments today and say goodbye to this time-consuming chore for good!

The Scientific Approach to Good Ventilation in Your Gym

While there’s still uncertainty about when exactly it will happen, reopening is still very much on the horizon. However, reopening will not be possible without proper ventilation in the gym.

Ventilation is an essential part of the measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in gyms; it enables you to create a safe environment for your members and employees.

During the height of the second lockdown, ventilation was a hot topic that has fallen a bit into obscurity as the days dragged on. As we count down the days to possibly reopening gyms, more fitness trends have since taken center stage. Focus shifted to setting up online and outdoor sports programs to drive revenue against all odds.

However, as we get closer to answering the question “when will gyms reopen?“, the focus is shifting back to the requirements for reopening said gyms. Fitness entrepreneurs must keep in mind that there is a high probability that conditions will be placed on indoor fitness clubs that are due for reopening.

The story of aerosols and the coronavirus involves a lot of complicated science. From physics about air currents to biology about microparticles so small, that they’re almost impossible to imagine – the scene is set for a slew of confusion and misinformation.

That’s why, this blog is based on the recent webinar with Cloud Garden founder, Tom Koenderman. Cloud Garden is a future-focused company that combines nature with technology to achieve a healthy indoor climate for every user of a building. Tom has collaborated on multiple studies on how the coronavirus is spread by aerosols and is something of an expert in the field of airflow.

We’ve also collected some tips on how to prepare for reopening your gym after you’ve achieved good ventilation.

The Importance of Good Ventilation in Your Gym

You’ve seen a ton of information over the past 12 months about aerosols, the tiny droplets that people disperse when they breathe, talk, or sneeze. Tom Koenderman, the founder of Cloud Garden, has collaborated on multiple studies on how the coronavirus is spread via the air.

In the webinar with NL Actief, he explains aerosols as:

“To make it very practical – everyone has blown on a mirror at some point. And then you see a large mist forming on a mirror: in the base those are aerosols. ”

As a result, the airborne coronavirus could spread quickly in poorly ventilated areas where sufficient social distance is not maintained. Research from the Technical University in Berlin showed that the risk of coronavirus spreading in gyms is up to 1.4x higher if mouth masks are not worn – this could be caused by, among other things, heavy breathing.

So how can ventilation help prevent droplets from spreading? The University of Amsterdam researched this by experimenting on the number of aerosols in a ventilated room compared to the number of aerosols in an unventilated room.

The variable was simple: one room had an open window and a mechanical ventilation system, and the other one an open window and an open door. The result was that in the room with the mechanical ventilation system and the window, half of the droplets disappeared from the air after two and a half minutes. In the room with the open door and window, it halved in just thirty seconds.

So, in other words, good ventilation works in reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

Tips for Good Ventilation in Your Gym

It might seem all too simple to say that popping open a window or door in your gym is going to solve your problems and let you reopen your gym. Ventilation alone is not the solution for a safe gym. It is always a combination of measures that enables members and employees to remain safe and healthy.

And, of course, weather plays a huge role. If you live in an area with a lot of rain and cold weather, you can’t just leave things open all the time. Alternately, if you live in an area with warm weather that requires constant air-conditioning, you won’t exactly be cooling the place down with open windows.

How to Ensure a Well-Ventilated and Safe Gym

  • Ventilate according to the requirements of your building standard. Ask your landlord or manager if you don’t have this information. Are you unsure about whether the ventilation system in your building is sufficient for reopening your gym? Then call in an expert.
  • Regularly air out your gym by opening windows and doors against each other. Let it air out thoroughly for 10 to 15 minutes – especially after, for example, a group lesson. Also, don’t forget to air out your general fitness room several times a day.
  • Avoid using devices that produce a strong airflow, such as fans and portable air conditioners; you will only achieve the opposite effect by blowing aerosols from person to person. (On that note, about that rowing machine…)
  • Make sure that the 1.5-meter distance (6 feet) between people in gyms is maintained, and don’t let too many people stay in the same room at the same time. Crowded rooms mean that the air can continue to circulate between people, and your efforts at ventilation will lose their effect.
  • Provide cleaning supplies for members to disinfect equipment before and after they use it.
  • Make use of technology to safely reopen your gym. Enable mandatory screening questions before members can place a booking or enter your gym.

According to experts, the best solution to ensure good ventilation in your gym or studio is to bring in some fresh air. Once again, as many open windows as possible is an efficient way to achieve this.

Physicist Daniel Bonn, who contributed to the aforementioned study by the UvA, adds:

“Air conditioners can also help, even if it is a form of circulation. But then there must be good filters in the system that stop the virus.”

Tom Koenderman also recommends caution in the NL Active webinar:

“If you introduce air from the outside and heat it, it becomes very dry. This is not just uncomfortable but is also one of the conditions that viruses such as COVID often spread by. Dry air is a hotbed for viruses to circulate.”

Inside or Outside – Safety Comes First

A recent study by SafeACTiVE commissioned by EuropeActive analyzed 115 million gym visits across Europe. The data showed an infection rate of 1.12 per 100,000 visits – that is a total of 1,288 positively reported cases over six months spanning 4,360 clubs spread over 14 European countries.

The study revealed that the prescribed gym safety measures only work if everyone adheres to them. This isn’t only limited to members complying with regulations, but also gym owners enforcing it through the infrastructure they have in place.

A possible and relatively cheap solution is to install air purifiers in your gym. Air purifiers are mobile circulation devices that circulate air and neutralize aerosols with a plasma filter. A complete ventilation system can be quite expensive, whereas several air purifiers are a lot cheaper and improve the quality of the air enormously.

Gyms and studios play an important role in public health in the form of prevention. For example, according to TNO, 80% of the people admitted to hospital with the coronavirus are overweight. The role of fitness in our future is therefore far from over.

In fact, with the rapid rise of fitness technology and digitization, this role will only grow. It is up to us as the fitness industry to seize that opportunity – and start by cracking open a window.