08 Mar My Staff Love Working Out Together
“The Team Is Stronger And Healthier”
Hong Kong people take their work and their staff seriously, which is why the concept of team bonding – a big hit in other major cities – has really started to take off here.
“When you create that team rapport, it goes a long way to getting the most from your staff,” says Flex co-founder Heather Thomas Shalabi. “Increasingly, corporates are coming to Flex to work out during the week – in a group of about 6-10 – and they always, always walk out smiling.”
As the International Journal of Marketing and Human Resources Management stated in a report on the concept: *“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare”.
So if it feels so good, why is that? And what do the corporates who make Flex a regular gig have to say about it?
Here, Robert Lin, the founder and CEO of Seabury TFX (HK) Limited, shares his experience as a boss who enjoys Fun Friday workouts with his employees:
- Why did you start a Friday exercise programme at Flex?
Many in our team have been suffering from neck, back and shoulder pain. I would attribute much of it to either being deskbound or on the other end spending too much time in cramped airplane seats. Our goal was to find an exercise program that included both core fitness and stretching as part of the routine. I had some previous experience with Flex and thus reached out to start a trial.
- What kind of class did you choose and why?
We chose Pilates as it was something that most had not experienced. The focus on core strength was a key goal. The other aspect is the environment allowed us to work out as a team and add a common area of interest.
- What was the response from your staff?
Flex staff have always been enthusiastic and run a great program. We’ve started to see progression in our abilities. We’ve also had great exposure to different instructors and this provides variety to our weekly program.
- How often have you worked out there now?
We’ve been doing this for over 6 months now.
- What has the experience been like?
Great. The sessions are always something that we look forward to doing together. The team is stronger and healthier. We don’t hear about neck, back and shoulder pains these days. We each have our favorite instructors and the team often doesn’t know who it’s going to be that day so it is a surprise each time.
- The Flex team has said that they get the feeling that your staff come out of class having had a lot of fun, which is great for team building … would you agree with this sentiment?
The instructors are always fun to work with. We have laughs along the way. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. We are often pushed to work harder and the small bit of peer pressure and competitiveness means we all have to get through it. So, we always have fun both supporting each other.
- Would you recommend more Hong Kong businesses start doing this kind of activity for their staff?
Yes, in Hong Kong, many of us work long hours. As a group event, everyone has stayed with it and we believe it has benefited the rapport and health of our team.
- Why did you choose Flex?
Flex has a great team and a nice environment. The location for us in Central is very convenient from our office.
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*Ms. Neelam Saraswat and Dr. Shilpi Khandelwal, Impact of Team Building Exercises on Team Effectiveness. International Journal of Marketing and Human Resource Management, 6(3), 2015, pp. 89-97. http://www.iaeme.com/currentissue.asp?JType=IJMHRM&VType=6&IType=3