Posted on May 08, 2018 by Gordon Smith

Employee wellbeing is fast becoming a key point on the boardroom agendas. The employment market in the UK is extremely competitive, so perks, benefits and wellbeing packages are now crucial in order to attract and retain employees. Naturally, fitness is one of the most popular options, with organisations providing subsidised gym memberships or workplace gyms.

If you’re one of the growing numbers of organisations that have given the go-ahead to install a workplace gym, great news!

But what about the next steps? Have you considered how the look, feel and ambience of the gym interior can influence and improve the gym experience, as well as helping to improve fitness outcomes?

The gym environment should be an uplifting, relaxing and positive experience, so it’s important that the space reflects and communicates this. We look at the latest gym trends and give you some pointers on creating an amazing space for employees.

Consider your brand and its values

Your wellbeing strategy shouldn’t be a standalone programme, it should be part of the culture and values of your organisation, so it’s important to think about how you want to communicate that in your gym space.

Your wellbeing strategy shouldn’t be a standalone programme, it should be part of the culture and values of your organisation

It’s also important to separate and differentiate work from fitness, so once an employee crosses the threshold from the office area into the gym, their mindset has got to change. And, this is where design becomes crucial.

Wall graphics with motivational words or sentences are popular and very much on trend for a gym space. It’s also a great way to communicate your brand values through logo marques or branding. This will help create an inspiring environment to motivate and engage employees.

The gym as an ‘experience’

A big trend starting to make its way over from the States is transforming the gym into an immersive space through the use of creative lighting. It may seem counter-productive to reduce natural light, but artificial light can help create a new environment and therefore a new experience.

Using positive colours, such as blues, yellows and greens can help enhance the purpose of a space and create an experience similar to being in an uplifting, endorphin-bursting environment, such as a nightclub. Remember the great feeling you get in a club when you hear your favourite song?

Gym lighting

Lighting for an endorphin hit

This environment is perfect for high-energy exercise such as HIIT workouts or Spin and can help employees mentally switch-off from work and get in the ‘zone’ for an aerobic workout.

Recreating a nightclub experience in the gym is not necessarily compatible with more Zen-like experiences that need natural daylight, such as Yoga. If you have the space, make sure you separate the two areas. Otherwise, blackout blinds or shutters are a great compromise.

Relaxing gym lighting

Lighting for a more relaxing experience

Zoning

HIIT and functional fitness workouts require different types of exercise, and also different ways of thinking.  With HIIT you’re increasing heart rate and focusing on getting aerobic, but with functional fitness, it’s all about posture, core strength and repetition.

As a result, gyms are increasingly zoning their space to create sections for specific parts of the workout routine, as well as incorporating traditionally outdoor exercise into the interior design of the gym, such as sprint tracks. This is encouraging designers to create really imaginative and inspiring spaces.

A great example of this is the Team GB Taekwondo training centre in Manchester, where they have created a visually striking space that clearly marks the different zones for workouts through colour, floor markings and grouping equipment together according to purpose.

They’ve also used wall decals to communicate their brand values and achievements, to great effect.

Think about your office space

Depending on the look and feel you’re trying to achieve in your gym space, it does help to ensure the design works with your building. If you’ve created a fresh, contemporary office space, then it makes sense to keep that look in your gym.

If you want an industrial look, for example, think about how that can be achieved in your building. With a Victorian or postmodern office block, it may not be possible to achieve this, so try thinking about the building’s history – as well as your own organisation’s journey – and use that to help shape your gym space.

Your building’s history and your company’s journey should be reflected in your gym design

If you’re in an office that could do with a bit of a makeover, then why not use the gym as a blank canvas to create a new look that truly reflects your brand and company personality. This could inspire the leadership team to recreate the look throughout other areas of the building.

We help with all aspects of gym design, right from initial concept, design and installation and we also understand the complexities involved when creating a gym in the workplace. Not only that but with many ways to finance the project, it is an affordable and realistic option for your business.

Interested? Drop us a line to find out more about how we can turn your workplace gym dream into a reality.