Abu Saleh Shah Mohammed Niamutullah, head of security, administration at Banglalink, was feeling more fatigued than usual after office. When he decided to join the gym, he realised that managing time after office was a tough deal.
Lucky for him, his office had its own gym, along with a trained instructor. He soon joined it and has since been feeling better.
Niamutullah said, "Sitting at a desk and working for seven to eight hours is not easy. My back was becoming stiff, and I was feeling uneasy all over. Since I started working out, I am feeling much better, and the impact is quite visible in my performance as well."
These official gyms or yoga centres have individual time slots for male and female employees so that the latter do not feel uncomfortable. There are specific times to attend – one can either attend the early morning sessions or the ones in evening.
Shazia Omar, yoga instructor of HSBC Bank, shared the benefits of practising yoga, "Office goers are particularly prone to lower back, neck and shoulder aches as they live predominantly sedentary lives – sitting at a desk most of the day. Yoga helps in improving digestion, respiration, and circulation. It also increases strength, flexibility and balance of the body."
She then added, "Yoga is the best way to reduce stress, improve performance, enhance creativity, build team communication, and boost confidence."
In order to ensure their employees' physical and mental wellbeing, renowned corporate houses also offer other facilities. Among them are health and life insurances with lucrative offers, 24/7 emergency doctor services, organised leave management system, healthy and hygienic catering services, breakroom for relaxation, day care centres and many more.
Maniruzzaman, EHS manager, human resources and administration at Banglalink, said, "When one of our employees fall sick, or is admitted to the hospital, we offer a subsidy of Tk2 lakh to him/her. We believe that best services come from a pool of healthy, happy employees."
More and more corporate houses are now understanding the importance of their employees' wellbeing and are trying their best to ensure that employees feel safe and important at their workplaces.
He said, "We noticed that the number of sick leaves decreased remarkably since we offered the gym service."
According to section 94 of The Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, if there are 40 employees working at an organisation, then there needs to be maintained a suitable room or rooms as a day care centre – which would ensure sufficient light, ventilation, as well as a clean and sanitary condition for the use of children under the age of six.
Ensuring a good health and overall wellbeing of employees is considered as a key HR objective, thought Monzula Morshed, chief human resources and administration officer at Banglalink. The telecom company has an in-built a day care center in their building.
Juthy Akter, QA & customer experience senior executive, Monobrand & Device of Banglalink, said, "As a mother, I am always anxious about my child. Although it is paid, the office day care centre is run by efficient and experienced professionals. Keeping our children there, makes us feel that they are in safe hands, and they are going to be treated with utmost care. Hence, it also helps me to concentrate on my work."
Some organisations are also trying to ensure healthy food for their employees.
M M Raihan Arafat, head of human resources at Expo Freight Limited, said, "In our canteen, we provide subsidy for our employees to have healthy meals. We mention the calorie intakes of each dish and workers can also choose their meals according to their diet preferences. The diverse menu includes vegetarian dishes, as well as Bengali, Chinese and fast food items."
Nazma Akter, assistant professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, MARKS Medical College and Hospital, said, "This growing trend of yoga and gym centres in offices are great initiatives. As most offices offer desk jobs with very little physical activities, employees feel exhausted from not being active. Therefore, a gym in an office can sort out their many health issues on a daily basis."