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Whether it’s a small office-sized room for just a few employees at a time or a large fully-outfitted facility, having a gym at the workplace is an investment that keeps on giving.

Exercise is an important part of overall wellness, and with no transit time necessary to squeeze fitness into the work day, employees are more likely to start — and maintain — a healthy exercise regimen.

“We often underestimate the power of a corporate gym — after all, there are gyms everywhere at the staff’s disposal, right?” says WellnessConnect’s own Robert Taylor, who also co-owns New Wave Wellness Consultants.

“But the reality is that a lack of convenience is what gets in the way of people remaining consistent with their fitness routines, particularly when faced with workplace stresses, long hours and other challenges. Also, a gym is a place where senior managers can mingle with junior staff, without the barriers of rank. At the workplace, a gym can be a community onto itself.”

New Wave Wellness Consultants consists of a small team of dedicated specialists working together to bring first-class corporate wellness services to Trinidad and Tobago, with a particular focus on gym management and outfitting.

Whether you need an entire gym facility outfitted from scratch, or you already have a gym but need qualified, experienced instructors to provide classes or exercise guidance; New Wave Wellness Consultants can provide the exercise facility experience to meet your needs.

New Wave & Corporate Wellness

Boysie and Robert, co-owners of New Wave

Boysie and Robert, co-owners of New Wave

Established in 2011, New Wave Wellness Consultants is the brainchild of Robert Taylor and his partner Roopnarine “Boysie” Bissessar.

Boysie has over twenty-five years of experience in the gym management and fitness industry, and owns and manages a popular gym in Couva, central Trinidad. He is certified in Rev/Spin (Lemond Association), and holds a Certification in the Arts and Science of Coaching from The University of the West Indies (UWI), and a Diploma in Therapeutic Massage from The Trinidad and Tobago College of Therapeutic Massage and Beauty Culture Ltd. He is also a Certified Fitness Advisor (International Sports and Fitness Trainer Association) and a Shotokhan Karate Instructor (Trinidad and Tobago Associated School of Karate).

Robert Taylor is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer (International Sports Sciences Association), and he is also certified in First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Robert has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and he has been a fitness enthusiast for over 15 years, with various sporting and fitness accomplishments to his name in several mainstream sports. He is the author of several articles on Health, Wellness and Fitness; and the co-founder of WellnessConnect. He has also been a wellness advocate for over 10 years, and is passionate about the need for integrative strategies for corporate wellness.

“It is well documented that productivity in companies with health and wellness programmes far exceeds those where there is no such focus,” Robert says.

“Employers may worry about the cost of having such a programme… but what about the cost of not having it?

He emphasises that employers need to think about corporate wellness from an economic standpoint, and provide staff with everything they need to be healthy and productive — access to healthy food, employee assistance programmers for their social welfare, comprehensive health insurance, financial wellness coaching, and services to enhance their physical fitness.

“When your employees are physically well, there is reduced absenteeism, reduction in healthcare costs, reduced stress levels, fewer workplace injuries, and overall better performance due to higher energy levels and increased morale,” says Robert.

“A corporate wellness strategy is just as important as a business plan; perhaps even more so, because employees are the life blood of your company and the key determinant of its success.”

Fitness at the Workplace

Physical activity is an important component of any corporate wellness strategy, particularly because many office jobs result in a sedentary lifestyle.

“Imagine a regular work day for many,” Robert says.

“Get up early, in some cases rush off to drop the kids to school, fight up with an hour or two of traffic while you sit in one position, and then get to work where you again sit in one position for another eight or more hours, while staring at a computer screen. Your job can be hazardous to your health — literally.”

He states that employers should consider various ways of counteracting a sedentary lifestyle through encouraging movement during the work day.

“In theory, people should be taking frequent breaks and engaging in physical activity throughout the day; in the real world, there is hardly an employer that will tell staff ‘take a break’ several times a day — there is work to be done,” explains Robert. “However, organisations can take a genuine interest in staff health through other measures.”

One possibility involves bringing in instructors for classes such as yoga or aerobics; however, this may sometimes result in only a few persons reaping the benefits — not everyone may want that particular type of exercise, and not everyone’s schedule can facilitate being available at a particular time.

A gym facility, however, welcomes a broader range of employees, as a mixture of equipment can suit those who prefer weights or cardiovascular exercises; and employees can choose whether they prefer to hit the gym before the work day begins, at lunch time, or after work.

“If you build it, they will come; however, at the same time, a gym cannot exist in isolation,” Robert states.

“The last thing you want is an injury in your brand-new corporate gym, so it is prudent to ensure that you have safety policies in place. Also, having qualified, experienced instructors there at certain hours will encourage newcomers who may not know how to use the equipment. Even those who are used to a gym may need guidance from someone who can work with them to achieve their goals.”

Gym Outfitting & Management

Through their company New Wave Wellness Consultants, Boysie and Robert have managed gym facilities for personal and corporate clients including Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), National Gas Company (NGC), ArcelorMittal, Medullan, and other companies throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

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New Wave instructors Hamish, Kerron and Na’il provide services to corporate gyms

Managing facilities for other companies involves recruiting qualified, experienced instructors as sub-contractors, matching their expertise to the company’s individual needs, and enabling their continuing development and enhancement through funding their education in various exercise and fitness courses.

Robert cites some individuals who have been working with New Wave for over three years: Na’il Abdul, Kerron Gray and Hamish Drayton.

“Based at the client’s location for a few hours a day, they have really become part of the corporate family,” Robert says.

“Unlike a regular gym, operating in a corporate gym is much more personal: as an employee, you know the other people going to the gym, and you know the instructor who will be working with you that day. Employees put their trust and faith in these instructors to help them stay motivated to reach their goals.”

For organisations that wish to build a gym but do not know where to begin, New Wave Wellness Consultants is pleased to offer an initial site visit and consultation. Graphic design software can then be used to demonstrate designs and layouts of the facility, following which New Wave will then collaborate with architects, contractors and equipment merchandisers to execute the plan for the facility.

“Many companies may have unused office space that they don’t even realise could be converted into a gym,” Robert notes.

A gym does not need to be a huge undertaking and expense; in many cases it can consist of just a few pieces of essential equipment and some free weights.”

He acknowledges that gym building and management requires a certain level of knowledge and experience — understanding the client’s staff complement and choosing the right equipment to meet their needs; space allocation and setting up equipment in an order to create a smooth flow for an exercise session; lighting and interior design to create a positive space; inspecting and maintaining equipment at regular intervals; health and safety practices and procedures for managing the gym on a day-to-day basis; energy efficiency and control of running costs, and much more.

Beyond these obvious challenges, an important consideration is the strategy behind the gym or fitness programme created.

“Any facility or programme needs a strong strategy to support its existence — a vision, a clear purpose, goals, measurements, feedback, checks and balances. Competitions, challenges, camaraderie, a dynamic vibe and energy — these are things that do not occur organically, but must have corporate buy-in and be pushed from the highest levels of the organisation,” Robert states.

“You don’t just ‘build a gym’; you have to create a facility that is useful and adding value. When managed properly and appreciated as an employee benefit, a gym can be a recruitment and retention amenity — and that, from an employer’s perspective, is priceless.”

For more information, contact New Wave Wellness Consultants at 1 (868) 686-6771 or [email protected] . You can also visit their website at www.newwavett.com.

What You Need to Know

  • While their core expertise is Gym Facility Management & Oufitting, New Wave also provides:
    • Corporate Wellness Consultancy
    • Corporate Wellness Fairs Coordination
    • Wellness Promotional Material
    • Wellness Supplementation
    • Corporate Wellness Massages
  • New Wave nurtures an extended network of highly qualified and experienced Health and Wellness professionals, and would be happy to guide your organisation to the best services of professionals such as:
    • Doctors
    • Physiotherapists
    • Health and Safety Consultants
    • Wellness Marketing professionals
    • Wellness Event Management professionals
    • Personal Trainers
    • Nutritionists
    • Sport Psychologists
    • Fitness equipment distributors
    • Health food distributors