The Other 12 Hours: The ROI of Recreation
by Troy Schrenk
When it comes to housing for the remote workforce, the equations for food and sleep are basic and easy to understand. Better beds = better sleep = better work. Good nutrition = improved health = a more prepared workforce.
But there’s more to “the other 12 hours” than eating and sleeping. Is there a space to really unwind with colleagues? In cold winters or brutally hot summers, can workers exercise indoors? Can they send an email to their parents, catch up on Facebook, or see a new photo of their children? Recreation and downtime, even though their benefits may seem intangible at first, play a role in workforce well-being, morale and retention.
Investing in “The Other 12 Hours”
An investment in recreation, fitness, and downtime quite simply pays off.
- Workforce well-being: A prepared, healthy, well-rested workforce with high morale and low turnover boosts productivity and safety.
- Recruitment: Companies need to attract younger workers as Baby Boomers continue to retire; today’s younger workers expect a better work/life balance, even when working on remote sites.
- Retention: Skilled workers need to be kept for the long haul. Homesick, exhausted workers will go home, or go to a competitor that offers a higher quality of life.
Companies can address these issues through a well-thought out approach to workforce housing that takes recreation seriously.
Jobs on remote sites can be repetitive, arduous and stressful, but it is still important to make time for exercise. It helps improves health, productivity and brain function—see our infographic on sleep and exercise. Exercise also improves sleep, as we’ve noted in our white paper on sleep. Exercise facilities aren’t luxuries—they’re a vital investment in to the well-being of an optimized workforce.
Internet access just isn’t optional is today’s world, and it’s not just for entertainment. In an isolated location, staying in touch with family back home, as well as the wider world, can boost morale, combat loneliness and help workers focus on their tasks. Computer centers for those who don’t have their own devices are critical.
A place to come home
A pleasant space to unwind after work and relax with co-workers can relieve stress, promote bonding, and build morale. HD televisions, DVDs, and game rooms can all help workers feel more at home even on the most remote sites. Strict policies on drugs, alcohol and visitors contribute not only to health but to a healthy living environment for workers to revive and relax.
Our approach to downtime and recreation
We call our approach to high-quality lodging the Economics of Comfort™, because it’s an investment with an excellent return for workforce. Our lodges make our guests feel comfortable and at home, thanks to our attention to detail and our commitment to a positive environment off the clock.
- HD TVs in every room; our new Wolf Camp even has recliners and smart TVs in each room.
- Exercise facilities, some even with saunas.
- Computer cafés and internet access.
- Game rooms.
- Zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, firearms, and cohabitation.
Investing in recreation, fitness, and downtime isn’t frivolous—it’s necessary to workforce health and morale. An investment in the other 12 hours delivers a high return that benefits your workforce, your projects, and your company.