19 Jul 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2018 issue 7

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Leisure Management - énergie Fitness

Promotional feature

énergie Fitness


In the latest move for fast-growing operator énergie Fitness, the company has opened new headquarters that puts employee wellness, productivity and the needs of franchisees centre-stage

énergie's office space and on-site gym are closely integrated
énergie creates virtual clubs for locations which are under construction, to help drive membership pre-sales
énergie creates virtual clubs for locations which are under construction, to help drive membership pre-sales

To get to their desks, employees at énergie Fitness have access to a running track. And while they might not jog every day, that entrance says something about what énergie CEO, Jan Spaticchia, wants to achieve at his new, state-of-the-art HQ in Milton Keynes, dubbed ‘énergie Central’.

The vibrant design and free-flowing workspace of the 15,000sq ft facility is Spaticchia’s vision; he’s dug into the budget to kit out the space, taking inspiration from tech giants like Google and keeping his employees’ productivity and franchisees’ needs in mind.

Énergie Central feels alive, humming, and, well – full of energy. A vibrant palette of lime green and bright pink accents, in line with the company’s new branding, keeps things fresh, and the open-plan office has been designed to encourage collaboration – a key aim when it comes to how Spaticchia wants his team to work.

Agile working
The workspace at the new énergie Central is anything but traditional. From high-standing communal workspaces, to “hot box” desks and quiet pods for concentration, Spaticchia has ensured there’s a space for everyone’s style, mood and needs.

“I’ve been a great admirer of the tech companies coming out of Silicon Valley who have broken the rules,” Spaticchia explains. “They call it Agile working. The whole idea in any Agile work environment is that you don’t have to sit at a desk. It’s a simple concept, but something about that frees the mind, and we believe we get more done that way.”

On any given day, four to five people might be working together on the high bench tables, putting ideas on a large-screen monitor and brainstorming together, while another group might be gathering in a Pow Wow room – a glass-walled meeting space with comfortable chairs where people can discuss a challenge or have a more intimate conversation. For staff who are more comfortable working in a traditional setting, there are options for that as well.

Because many employees are often on the road, Spaticchia has designed “hot box” desks where they can drop in and set up easily, with lockers nearby containing laptops and other office supplies.

But it’s not just the open-plan work environment that gives énergie Central such a spacious feel; the office area faces onto wooded green space, with floor-to-ceiling windows ensuring natural light. Spaticchia says he looked for a space that had a good outdoor facility and room for employees to step outside for fresh air.

“Just being outdoors makes you feel better,” he explains. “We wanted to make sure the views weren’t locked away and people could get out to stretch their legs.”

But Spaticchia took it a step further; in the design of énergie Central, he chose to bring elements of the outdoors inside. This includes a leafy photographic wall in the café area, known as the Woodlands, where employees perch on bleachers each Monday for informal catch-up meetings, as well as a rock-climbing theme in the ‘Never Bored Room’ that includes a view out over a mountain lake and multidimensional boulders.

The power of shutting off
énergie Central also has its own VR area for franchisees – the company creates virtual clubs for locations that are under construction, helping drive membership sales before the club physically exists. Clubs are also designed in VR, to get a feel for how members move around the space.

Employees are encouraged to take breaks and play VR golf or tennis to encourage creative thinking.

For some serious brain resetting, énergie Central even has its own napping room. ‘Napland’ is cocooned away in a soundproof corner and cloaked in black, complete with a high-tech napping pod – the same as the one used at Google, says Spaticchia. He’s researched the effects of napping on productivity, and was impressed with the science behind the restorative power of a 20-minute nap.

The napping pod is an enclosed dome that plays nature sounds, along with specially designed lighting, and at the end of 20 minutes, is designed to wake employees up in a similar way to a sunrise alarm. The snooze pod is a statement to employees that it's OK to take time out to recharge batteries through rest. They're also encouraged to do three workouts a week. “We get paid back significantly in productivity and energy levels,” explains Spaticchia.

On-site franchise
Workouts are easy for employees to fit in – there’s a 5,000sq ft on-site franchise at énergie Central, a key component of the space. This is not only to benefit employees, who receive a free membership, but also for prospective franchisees.

énergie Central has a large training room for franchisees and the added benefit of the on-site gym. “In terms of the training, having the franchise on-site is essential,” says Spaticchia.

Several times a year, énergie holds “Discovery Days”, where those interested in buying a franchise can learn about the gym model. With the on-site franchise, they can now get to see a working gym while they’re there and see how staff and members interact.

“It’s immediate – you can go and touch and feel and go into a working énergie facility,” says Spaticchia.

And that’s a win-win: employees have easy access to workouts, while franchisees can use the facility for training, and executives have a daily reminder of the end-product – and the real people who use it.


énergie group
TEL: +44 (0) 845 363 1020
EMAIL: info@energiehq.com
WEB: www.energiefitness.com


Originally published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 7

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