Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Powering Health and Fitness at Kepware

Posted by Greg Wright

Last November, Kepware opened a 1,200 square foot fitness room on the second floor of our headquarters in Portland, Maine. It is a fantastic space! Called "KepGym," it has some really great equipmentincluding treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, and weight training equipment. It also has an adjacent yoga room with a lot of floor space for stretching or yoga. Early in the morning, during lunch, or after work, you will often find Kepwarians in the KepGym running on the treadmill, lifting weights, or training to their favorite exercise video in the yoga room.

To support the facility and ensure it meets 34_Melissa-Mullen-Photographythe needs of employees, Kepware put together a Fitness Committee of five employees from different departments across the company. The first order of business for the Fitness Committee was to get people excited about using the KepGym and gain feedback to understand what could be done to improve it. As a result, we created the 2015 Kepware Winter Fitness Challenge.

The challenge was very short—only four weeks—and extremely simple. People received points for their workouts and extra points if they used the KepGym. We randomly grouped people into teams, and placed each member of the Fitness Committee as a team captain. Teams came up with their own names and some were pretty clever, including KEPFitnessEX, Uncontrollable Burpees, and—my favorite—Weapons of Mass Reduction. After the challenge finished, members of the winning team each received a gift certificate and a hearty pat on the back. The Fitness Committee also sent a survey to get feedback from challenge participants on how to improve future challenges and the KepGym.

33_Melissa-Mullen-PhotographySo how did the challenge go? What did we learn as a result? Well, our first challenge was a huge success! Over half the company chose to participate, with 50 employees working together to improve their health. That is amazing! The competitive nature of the challenge pushed people to "up their game," and we saw the use of the KepGym go up dramatically. Throughout the course of the four weeks, we saw people pick up the frequency, duration, and intensity of their workouts. One member of my team proudly sent cell phone photos every week that showed the digital readout on the elliptical trainer after she finished her workout. It was awesome to see the numbers rise week after week—300, 500, 650 calories burned! 30, 45, 60 minutes spent! It was very impressive. We were also able to identify ways to improve the KepGym through the results of the survey; in fact, we are currently looking at installing a pull-up bar and building a video library of popular workout programs for everyone to use (among a few other changes to help improve the KepGym).

Those fantastic results have inspired the 31_Melissa-Mullen-PhotographyFitness Committee to continue to introduce challenges and programs that promote physical fitness as well as active and healthy lifestyles. We also saw a huge benefit to this challenge that reached far beyond physical fitness. By randomly selecting teams, we were able to bring people together who normally would have very little interaction within the company. It was great fun to watch relationships develop that otherwise may not have existed.

A friendly competition to promote health and nurture relationships, a fantastic fitness facility in the KepGym, and a great group of employees dedicated to healthy lifestyles? Seems like a winning combination to me! Just another great reason for building a career at Kepware.

Next Steps

Hear employees describe the office culture that inspires Kepware's software solutions by watching our Corporate Overview Video. Then, learn more about the career opportunities available at Kepware by visiting us on the web.