Cycling to Work: New Ideas in Workplace Strategy


Cycling to Work: New Ideas in Workplace Strategy

January 21, 2020

the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

When you view this from a business perspective, it drives the fact that both companies and employees need to transform their manner of thinking & evolve through new ideas that will facilitate growth and survival.

To put it bluntly, they must start innovating.


Why Do Employers Need to Look into Employee Commutes?

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Innovation is more than a buzzword these days. With the right strategy, it can lead successful businesses to gain a competitive advantage. But this mindset can only develop through a culture of innovation that can help in the generation of new ideas.

In recent times, the necessity to innovate has sprung from the need to address problems in the workplace. And one such instance is employee commutes to the workplace.

But why do employers need to even come up with a workplace strategy with regards to employee commute?

That’s because urban economic theory says that there is a deep connection between commuting and the productivity of an employee.

Research points to the fact that employees who commute a distance of 1 km to work have 36% fewer absent days in comparison to those traveling distances of around 15 km. The debate surrounds the point that employees traveling greater distances put in less work as their leisure time at home or elsewhere is significantly overtaken by commute.

And that’s not where it ends.

Employee commutes also result in poorer physical and mental health. With physical activity at such low levels, many employees are diagnosed as obese. This leads to other chronic conditions that also contribute to decreasing participation of the workforce and rising absenteeism.

So, what’s the next step?


Building Your Case for Cycling

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Cycling to the office is the perfect scenario for sustainability enthusiasts. What it does require to make it stick long term is a huge leap of faith.

While the case for cycling has been well made, employers too must be convinced that investing in employees cycling to work is in their best interest.

Why should the employer take on the added expense of providing bike racks, changing rooms and showers, or even offering financial incentives to employees who ride to work?

Because you will eventually recoup this investment in the form of increased employee productivity.

And if you still need more convincing, maybe these statistics will help you get there.

Studies have reported findings of employee productivity being hiked at an average of 15% if they exercised before coming to work. And cycling is possibly the best exercise alternative for many who do not have the time to do it at home or visit the gym.

Moreover, physically fit employees seem to make 27% fewer errors in their tasks. Now, that’s a definite game-changer. Wouldn’t you agree?


Make Your Workplace Cycle Friendly

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Since it is every employer’s priority to enhance employee efficiency, the decision to adopt a ‘cycle to work’ approach makes sense. Along the way, it also aids in reducing traffic congestion, vehicle emissions and helps employees practice a healthy lifestyle.

Need some help with ideas to create a cycle-friendly workplace? Take a look.


Get a Committee in Place: Start by forming a committee. This should ideally include those cycle riding members from every department of your company. Get a core team in place to manage the cycle program which typically should comprise of the most enthusiastic cycling advocates.


Measure Your Baseline: Keep a track of all the employees who are cycling to work. Generally, this can be done with the help of designing a cycling program that should be aligned with your overall organizational goals.

Check the level of contribution it makes in achieving these objectives. For example, this can be attaining a better LEED rating for your office building or relate to your corporate responsibility targets.


Get Your Facilities in Place: Just having a program is not enough. This has to be supported by facilities in the workplace too. Your office should be able to accommodate adequate parking spaces for cycles to begin with. Employees should have easy access to and from the parking space to the building and change rooms.


Break-out Zones to Relax: Once your employees are ready to enter the workspace post a morning of cycling to work, they will need quick refreshments and space for them to relax. Having relevant break out zones in your office can help largely in supporting the ‘cycle to work’ initiative.


Build A Supportive Culture: A program at this level can only be successfully implemented with the support of your top leadership. Get your management to sponsor policy changes, offer incentives to employees who cycle to work and commit to capital investments in order to design a more sustainable workspace.

A cultural change from the very top needs to filter down the hierarchy to encourage active travel by cycling. Come up with flexible policies such as allowing employees to ride to work outside of peak commute times.

Have a social group for your members in a place where you can regularly share information and news. This must include relevant information about cycling to work.

Provide opportunities to match up to existing cyclists with people thinking about riding to work for the first time to provide help and advice.  


Rethinking Spaces
It is hard to change the company culture where you know that the physical environment is only one of the many influencing factors. But they help make change possible.

Encouraging employees to cycle to work as an alternative to driving or other means of transportation not only minimizes strain on the environment, it also does a lot to reduce our country’s dependence on crude oil, lowering overall carbon footprint too.

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But the most important bit about asking your employees to cycle to work is – your company will have pride knowing that it is also contributing to the physical health and well-being of the employees that participate in this program.


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