The Pandemic Has Made Corporate Wellness Benefits A Necessity

New Report Details The Evolving Wellness Needs of Professionals 




Half of professionals say their workload has increased along with rising stress and burnout levels according to new research. The study, which was conducted by ClassPass, a leading provider of employee fitness and wellness benefits for more than 2,000 global companies, explores the evolving workplace sentiments and health concerns of 2,185 professionals from 19 countries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of surveyed professionals say that their workload has increased, and one in four professionals have fewer resources available.

Though forty-eight percent of professionals did not have a remote work policy prior to the COVID pandemic, three in four professionals now work from home full time with one in four relocating permanently. This shift has resulted in challenges that include having to share space with others, lack of an adequate setup (including occasional Zoom meetings taken from bathrooms!), and difficulty finding work/life balance. 


There is an opportunity to equip employees with better tools to tackle stress and inspire engagement.

For many professionals surveyed, fitness has been one of the positive factors keeping stress levels down. Four in five professionals reported that fitness activities are crucial to establishing a new work-from-home routine, and nearly all professionals (96%) say they feel more motivated and less stressed after exercising. One in five professionals report that they are using their previous commute time to workout.

The survey also found that 70% of global professionals ranked fitness benefits as the most valuable benefit outside of healthcare that employers can provide.


Nicole Wolfe, Head of Corporate Programs at ClassPass, says “Offices are now prominently placed in bedrooms and living rooms, making it tough to close laptops and focus on self-care. We see the need for employers to meet employees where they are both physically and geographically by providing a wide range of virtual and in-person fitness offerings, allowing for times when employees need to destress and find calm through gentle yoga and meditation, as well as those times when a high-impact cardio class is needed to let off some steam. Corporate wellness benefits are no longer nice to have, they are a must have.” 

Seventy-one percent of professionals are feeling less connected to coworkers overall. However, more than half of professionals who have participated in a team workout say they felt more connected to their colleagues afterwards, and (89%) say they feel more productive during their workday after exercising.

“The research shows that employees appreciate the camaraderie of virtual team-building group fitness experiences, something we are seeing an uptick in with our corporate clients,” added Wolfe.

How Employers Should Plan Ahead for 2021 Corporate Benefits

For employers considering offering fitness and wellness benefits in the new year, the survey found that the vast majority of professionals (92%) hope to return to fitness studios and gyms in 2021. Half of respondents are planning a hybrid mix of in-studio and at-home workouts next year, while 40% plan to return exclusively to in-studio workouts when they feel safe to do so. 


Wolfe advises that the best benefit plan is one that accommodates the needs of all employees by offering a range of virtual and in-person options.

“Employees are enthusiastic to return to their favorite gyms and fitness studios as soon as they feel comfortable,” Wolfe says. “However, there are also many employees who may have moved during the pandemic, and need a remote plan. ClassPass is a robust option that will allow employees to take advantage of digital and in-person options, all with the same membership.”

The ClassPass Corporate Program gives employees one easy to use membership that they can use to book a variety of in-person and virtual fitness and wellness benefits. The setup is simple and easy for HR teams: employers subsidize or entirely cover the cost of ClassPass credits, and employees have complete control over how they spend their credits. Employees can choose from cardio-boosting fitness classes such as boxing, barre, Pilates or dance classes, as well as more relaxing options including yoga, meditation and stretching classes. Though the pandemic has been challenging and stressful in many ways, supporting employees with virtual fitness benefits can help them cope and stay as healthy as possible. Interested in adding ClassPass to your 2021 benefits? Contact the team to learn more.



Report: COVID's Impact On Employee Wellness was conducted by ClassPass in October 2020 and received responses from 2,185 professionals from 19 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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