It’s ironic. I waited months for the gyms to reopen. I was one of the first to bound through its front door as soon as restrictions were lifted. For the first half an hour, I talked frantically to my ‘gym buddies’ who I had been forced to keep in touch with via the visual myriad of Instagram.
When I finally got around to working out, it didn’t take long for me to notice something. I was doing exactly the same exercise routines that I had been forced to do at home throughout lockdown. The equipment was the same, the music I was listening to hadn’t changed, and the reps and sets were identical.
Much like working productively from home, I had all the tools I needed to have a decent workout in my garage. I was good to go throughout lockdown. For a laptop, mobile phone, decent WIFI, and a pad and pen I had dumbbells, barbells, mats, and upbeat soundtracks to get me through. However, one crucial thing had changed when I entered the gym: the experience. And with an upbeat experience comes more positive workout results.
Granted, adrenaline was pumping through my body throughout that first visit. However, at the time of writing I have visited the gym over 30 times, yet the feelings remain just as strong. You watch others train, you learn, they motivate you and inspire, and vice versa. We all have a role to play.
The role of the office
It’s much like missing the office environment where you overhear conversations, analyse body language and eye contact, and communicate with colleagues more freely and brainstorm at the drop of a hat. Data from Leesman of 125,000 home workers suggests that whilst the majority (81%) of employees believe their home environment enables them to be productive, just 62% feel that informal social interaction is supported while working from home.
That hits the nail on the head. It’s the social interaction I long for, both in the gym and at work. Clearly, I’m not alone. It’s the buzz of collaborating with colleagues and fellow trainers that enhance the overall experience. Most of us are social butterflies and crave that sort of environment. I have all the tools I need to have a workout or conduct my profession productively at home. However, I’d much rather do it within an office environment surrounded by people who inspire me.