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Marketers missing out on health benefits at work

Marketers missing out on health benefits at work

Three quarters of UK companies fail to offer marketing employees any health benefits despite an overwhelming demand from jobseekers.

Some 88% of marketers in the UK believe their employers should be providing health and well-being incentives according to a new Reed poll of over 3,000 people.

Eight out of ten (81%) from the same sample claim that corporate health benefits, including subsidised gym membership, cycle to work schemes, help with stopping smoking and discounts for healthy eating would increase their productivity and motivation at work.

Marketing workers also believe that improved health benefits would make them work harder and create a better working environment, with 73% stating that team sports would improve their working relationships with colleagues.

Some 61% want their companies to offer subsidised gym membership; 14% want healthy food subsidies; 10% would like yoga and relaxation classes and 9% want support to stop them smoking.

However, the good news for employers is that while marketers are clearly prioritising their health, over half (55%) state that the health benefits that a company offered would not influence their decision to take a job.

They may also wax lyrical about the benefits of team sports as a way of bonding with work colleagues but two thirds (66%) of marketing employees admit they have never taken part in any sporting activity with their workmates.

Only 20% exercise with a colleague once a month and just 13% take part in a fitness activity with colleagues once a week.

Despite these demands for health benefits, the survey also reveals that self motivation is not the average marketing jobseeker’s strongest point. While they are quick to put the onus of responsibility for their health firmly on the shoulders of their bosses, comparatively few are willing to take proactive action themselves.

Only 17% manage to complete the government’s health target of 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, while 28% exercise for just an hour a week; 32% manage two to three hours a week and 9% do nothing at all.

Operations Director at Reed, Martin Warnes, said, “Workers are looking increasingly to their employers to provide health benefits, seeing a direct link between their fitness and productivity at work.

“Businesses should not however, adopt a knee jerk approach and feel they should invest in expensive corporate fitness schemes, particularly in the uncertain economic climate.

He added, “Small and less costly steps towards creating a healthier work environment can be equally effective, such as providing free fruit for staff or encouraging staff to cycle to work or take part in a sponsored run or bike ride for charity.

“Managers should also keep an eye on absentee levels and check if their employees are stressed out or overworked and deal with the root causes, before investing in expensive corporate health schemes to fix the problem.”

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