Gym and exercise breaks can increase productivity

Providing breaks for employees to visit the gym or to exercise during office hours could help to increase day-to-day productivity, according to research by specialist HR recruitment firm Ortus.

The research, conducted among 570 HR professionals, found that 52% of respondents said gym and exercise breaks would boost work levels.

Other popular measures thought to increase productivity included flexible-working arrangements (96%), healthy food and drink options (63%), working from home (59%), and fewer meetings (56%).

More unusual incentives included providing meditation time (22%), social media breaks (15%) and afternoon nap facilities (11%).

Stephen Menko, UK director of Ortus (pictured), said: “Getting the most out of the workforce is a core function of the HR profession and attitudes have changed about how to achieve this.

“The focus is more on the health and happiness of staff rather than all-nighters and lots of meetings.

“A clear case of the carrot and not the stick.”