Firstsource, the Cardiff based Outsource company, is letting its staff swap ringtones for muscle tone thanks to the launch of an innovative new boot camp, the first of its kind in the UK.
With a study by experts at the University of Cambridge released last month claiming that sedentary office work can be more damaging for health than smoking, Firstsource Solutions is tackling the issue by enrolling employees on a 12 week fitness challenge.
The holistic programme, created by Cardiff based Operation Fitness and the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, is designed to get staff away from their desks and working together to become fitter, healthier, happier and more productive.
The 1200 employees at the Cardiff Bay based contact centre can be sat down for up to 10 hours per shift while dealing with customer queries. Firstsource, is a customer experience expert and global provider of customised BPM (Business Process Management) services with 23,000 employees across five countries. Their clients include brand such as Sky, giffgaff, BBC and Virgin Atlantic.
The new initiative will see them undergo a full body and diet analysis under the supervision of expert instructor Owen Phillips, a personal trainer who has trained alongside some of the world’s top professional boxers.
A detailed report will outline individuals’ body composition, muscle mass, fat percentage and obesity levels, analysing everything from whether they’re drinking enough water to if one side of the body is developed more than the other through typing or answering the phone.
Each team member will then receive tailored advice on the exercises they can do to become fitter, along with guidance on a grocery list of healthier foods to complement their more active lifestyle.
Kathryn Chivers, Firstsource Solutions vice president – (pictured Second from left) sales, said:
“Verbally and mentally, our staff are superstars in their activity levels, but the nature of a contact centre means all of this happens sat down at their desks. Time and again we see staff who join us as their first job out of the education system seem surprised when they’re putting on weight, having previously been used to eating whatever they like and getting away with it.
“Throughout the course of an eight hour shift, the typical movements away from the desk can be to get a biscuit from the kitchen, to go to the loo or to go for a cigarette. Anyone who’s worked in an office environment will know that the kitchen can be full of treats and we’ve already begun to offer free fruit as an alternative.
We know that a healthier workforce is a happier workforce which is why we’ve been so keen to pioneer and pay for this scheme. We’re expecting brilliant results which can only help improve our business.”
Amy Foat, Assistant HR Manager at Firstsource said:
“I spend most of my working day sat down so getting more active is a must. I’m very proud to work for a company that supports us both mentally and financially to get more active – we have been gifted with both dietary plans and exercises plans, something that would cost us hundreds of pounds. I’m looking forward to taking on this 12 week journey.”
Sandra Busby, managing director at Welsh Contact Centre Forum (pictured fourth from Left) said:
“Like any office based organisation, contact centres rely on rooms full of people being sat down for long periods. Research tells us this isn’t good for our long-term health, but even in the short-term inactivity can lead to sickness absence which costs business time and money and causes disruption.
We’re determined that contact centres shouldn’t just be places where you can have a healthy career, but a healthy life.
“Firstsource is a great example of a really innovative business that values its staff and we’re sure that once the benefits are felt in productivity terms, we’re hoping other contact centres in Wales and the rest of the UK will follow their lead.”
- ITV News: Welsh call centre launches ‘fitness bootcamp’ for staff
- Wales Online: Call centre launches ‘fitness bootcamp’ to get staff away from their desks
- Contact-centres.com: Firstsource Launch UK’s First Contact Centre Boot Camp