June 15, 2018

The Roundup: Offices in gyms, the work snacking epidemic, and discussion on the “gay glass ceiling”

In this week's Roundup, companies basing their offices in gyms, re-thinking office snacks, and a discussion paper on the "gay glass ceiling."

Companies are bringing work and working out closer together

We’ve seen many instances of progressive companies adding gyms to their office spaces. Taking that flexibility one step further, CNBC reports that some start-ups are basing their offices in gyms.

In theory, there’s logic in this move. CNBC cites a Gallup survey of more than 15,000 adults that found 43% of U.S. employees spent some time working remotely in 2016 ,and in doing so, look for affordable office or co-working spaces outside of their homes to mix things up. Plus, gyms provide the draw of open environments, and for start-ups, in the absence of a bigger budget to provide perks like free food and other incentives, an all-access gym membership is a competitive offering.

Supporting this trend, gyms and fitness studios are also turning their free space into co-working spaces during the day, and workers using the spaces have access to various classes. Some studios are finding that workers combine meetings with gym sessions (instead of business meetings at a restaurant, for example).

The trend highlights the fact that companies and employees alike are looking at creative ways to prioritize their physical and mental well-being as part of the work day.

On that note, it’s time to re-evaluate free office snacks

Speaking of creating connections between work and workouts, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that “working adults obtained nearly 1,300 calories per week from foods and beverages they got at work,” the Washington Post reports.

From the Washington Post, here’s what this could mean for employers:

Stephen Onufrak, the lead author, said obesity is a problem and he thinks the approach to prevention should be comprehensive. The workplace, he said, is a place to start.

The CDCP report concludes that a significant number of U.S. workers eat food and beverages they obtain at work – and commonly for free – and those items often don’t line up with dietary guidelines. It adds that wellness efforts at work should focus on improving the quality of the food items employees receive at work. In short, for many employees, wellness increasingly starts – and grows – at work.

The “gay glass ceiling”: discussion paper says it exists

Here are some timely findings to broaden the diversity discussion for Pride month. A new discussion paper from the IZA Institute of Economics has provided evidence on a so-called “gay glass ceiling” in top management, based on U.K. data.

According to the IZA, the paper “provides the first-large scale systematic evidence on the relationship between a minority sexual orientation and workplace authority.”

Quartz, reporting on the paper, writes that “An analysis of data from U.K. households confirmed a suspicion long held by gay men and women: Gay employees are significantly less likely to be promoted to high-level managerial positions than their straight peers with comparable education and experience.”

A key highlight and call to employers from this paper is that it’s not only on the individual to pursue and fight for high-level managerial posts.

“Those holding these posts are the exemplars, the mentors, and the decision-makers on who will be the next generation of senior leaders,” the paper’s authors write, adding that bringing more sexual minorities, women and racially diverse individuals into managerial posts potentially increases access for less senior employees to be promoted.


Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Managing Editor, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

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