Bjorn Borg holds compulsory exercise hour for Swedish employees

exercise class

Something for the weekend: Sports clothing retail organisation Bjorn Borg holds a weekly mandatory exercise hour for 212 Sweden-based employees in order to increase employee productivity.

Every Friday between 11am and 12pm, the Stockholm-based office is closed for business as employees attend a nearby gym for a specially arranged exercise class exclusively for Bjorn Borg employees.

The compulsory workout classes, which all employees must participate in, differ each week, with previous sessions including boxing, Crossfit, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and yoga. If employees cannot attend the class, for example if they are off-site or pregnant, then they are encouraged to complete another form of physical activity instead.

Bjorn Borg, which implemented the mandatory exercise hour two years ago, introduced the initiative as it believed regular exercise would help improve employees’ performance, give them more energy for their working day and help them to process data better.

Henrik Bunge, chief executive officer at Bjorn Borg, told MSN: “If [employees] don’t want to exercise or be a part of the [organisational] culture, [they] have to go.”

Pernilla Johansson, corporate communications manager, added: “It is a fantastic opportunity that we have; to work out during work hours without anybody protesting. It is a luxury that few people have. The Björn Borg sports hour is mandatory and all staff [have] to do it. Everybody will be challenged to come along and do the best according to their own fitness level. [Employees] compete against [themselves], not everybody else, and the idea here is that we all perform better in both life and work if we are active and fit.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we think it would be a brilliant idea to slot in a workout to build up an appetite before lunch; not only would it act as an ice-breaker between colleagues and help us fit exercise into our super busy schedules, but it would also definitely provide an excuse to hit the shops for some snazzy new gymwear…