There are a number of ways in which companies can benefit from their employees cycling to work. For starters, a healthier workforce is a more productive workforce, so it can actually improve your bottom line. In addition, though, encouraging employees to commute by bike can help to attract and retain staff, reduce the demand for car parking spaces and contribute to a company’s environmental targets. There are a number of things you can do to encourage employees to cycle to work…
Health and wellbeing
Publicising the health benefits of cycling to employees is one simple way to encourage more of them to commute by bike. While everyone knows that doing exercise is good for you, fewer are aware of just how beneficial cycling can be. A recently published survey, which is the biggest of its kind, showed that it could half the risk of cancer and heart disease. What’s more, cycling can help to make you more alert, improve your mood and increase productivity, making it an ideal way to start the day!
Savings and incentives
Commuting by bike instead of by car can, of course, save employees money on fuel, car insurance and vehicle maintenance. Furthermore, employers can help to provide additional savings to employees who might already be considering commuting by bike by offering a cycle to work scheme, which allows bikes to be purchased from an employee’s gross salary before tax is applied. Communicating these savings can help to encourage employees to cycle to work, while offering incentives for them to do so can provide further encouragement. These might be monetary bonuses based on the financial benefit to the company, or could be as simple as offering a free breakfast to anyone who commutes by bike.
A lack of facilities is one of the main reasons people choose not to cycle to work, but even basic facilities can go some way to addressing this. Basic bike racks and toilets with sinks in which to change and wash can suffice, but secure bike storage, lockers and showers will go a long way to convincing any employees who might already be considering commuting by bike to do so.
Create a community
For a lot of people, activities like cycling are more enjoyable when they’re done with others. By building a community around those who cycle to work, companies can not only encourage uptake, but improve employee engagement. To create a community, companies can set routes for commuting to and from the workplace with pick-up points and times along the way. You might also suggest a mobile app like Strava as a way for employees to compete against each other and offer a place on the intranet for cycling related discussion. Ideally, a cycle to work champion can coordinate these activities and provide a central point of contact for anyone with queries.
Our free guide, 'Choosing a cycle to work scheme: an employer's guide', provides impartial advice on how cycle to work schemes operate, things to consider when choosing a scheme and best practices for setting up a scheme.