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Startups encouraging a 'healthy' way of working Enjoy Health facilities while you work

By Priyannkaa Dey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Imagine dancing in between work to lighten up; or better still occasionally relaxing while exercising inside the office or nearby. Sounds exciting? The startups in India are on their way to make health a priority along with the usual work schedule.

Mobile commerce firm, Paytm decided to initiate dance exercise classes for its employees. It started in the office premises and later moved to a dance studio nearby. Employees gladly took part in it. Various research programs have shown that dancing can aid in releasing stress and help in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Amit Sinha, vice-president (business and people), Paytm says that inspite of having health facilities like gym inside the office, employees hardly get time to engage in these activities during work hours. So at Paytm, they are given the flexibility to pursue their preferred activity at places that are convenient to them.

As a result, Paytm has aligned with dance studios that are near its office where employees can learn dance forms like Salsa, Bachata, etc in their free time by just paying Rs 100 per class. Many other startups are also following the same track by associating with various fitness chains.

A variety of fitness chains that are popular with the startups are FitMeIn, Flexipass, Gold's Gym, etc. Shopclues and Indegene too have been offering an assortment of fitness activities to its young employees who normally work under high pressure for long hours.

FitMeIn has come up with unique initiatives where they have started giving "fitcoins' so that everyone can try different workout options like Pilates, Zumba classes, yoga sessions, or exercise in gyms and studies across the national capital region according to their convenience and interest.

Startups are trying hard to lure young energetic talent to work for them and therefore, most of them are aiming towards the tag of "fun, energetic and lively workplace'.

However, FitMeIn, Fiticket and Flexipass feel that it is more advantageous to opt for wellness initiatives that are based outside office instead of spending tons of money in setting up a gym inside office. Lack of participation can otherwise ruin this initiative.

An external fitness programme can give employees the option to choose which health activity they want to do during their free time and what makes them happy. There is no compulsion to participate in any single activity that the employer has chosen for all its employees.

These health initiatives are increasingly becoming popular with numerous startups. For example, FitMeIn is working with 15 startups and ecommerce organizations. PepsiCo is also one of its clients.Financial services group, Religare has tied up with Fiticket, which offers nearly 200 activities across more than 600 gyms in Mumbai.

It is not possible to stick to a single time slot or a specific place for workout or any standard gym for "every' employee in an organization. Therefore, they are given the choice to explore and pick the ones that suit them.

Employers are realizing that good health means a happier employee which ultimately leads to more productivity and long term profits for the organization.

Priyannkaa Dey

Sr Sub-Editor, Entrepreneur India

With around five years of editorial and writing experience from magazines such as ‘DataQuest’, ‘Leisure & Resorts’, ‘Voice&Data’; Priyanka has also worked in the digital communication department of organizations like ‘Brentwoods’; ‘n & n Chopra Consultants Pvt. Ltd’ and ‘Delhi Public School Greater Faridabad’. Her interests include blog reading and writing. The author is a senior sub-editor at 'Entrepreneur Online' and has completed her studies from Jamia Millia Islamia.

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