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Did you know that some companies are helping employees to cycle to work?
Across the globe, companies are going above and beyond to get people out of their cars and onto two wheels.
In this article, we’ll look at why companies should do more to promote cycling, as well as our pick of the top 7 that are exceeding expectations when it comes to encouraging it.
Why should Companies Push Employees to Cycle to Work?
But why should companies push employees to cycle to work? There are probably more benefits than you expect.
First off, chances are that it’ll make them more money. According to SoCalCycling, those who commute by bike are more productive at work than their driving colleagues. This is partly thanks to the dopamine the morning exercise releases, resulting in happier, more focused workers.
It also means that they’re likely to take fewer sick days. Employees who cycle to work take 1.3 fewer sick days per year, according to CyclingUk.
Encouraging employees to cycle also has clear health benefits, and they aren’t just physical. Cycling can greatly impact, helping to reduce anxiety and stress both in and out of the office.
But which companies are doing their part in getting people onto bikes? Here are our top seven.
1. CLIF Bar & Company
If you live and breathe cycling, the next best thing after being a professional is to work at CLIF Bar & Company.
According to the Nutritious Energy food company, happy people make the best food, so it makes sense that they make such an effort to get employees to cycle! In fact, the idea of the CLIF bar came to founder Gary Erickson while on a ride with a friend in 1990 in Northern California.
According to Bicycling.com, CLIF Bar & Company offers up to $765 a year in rewards for employees who commute by bike and an additional $500 every six years to buy a new one.
If that wasn’t enough, employees are even allowed more than two hours a week to exercise on the company’s time. We know how we’d spend our time.
They even have a Bike to Work month, where the company donates to bike-related charities on behalf of the teams with the highest mileage.
2. Great Ormond Street Hospital
In 2021, Great Ormond Street became the first UK hospital to be awarded gold by Cycling UK’s friendly employer scheme.
GOSH recognized that cycling improved not only the staff’s health but also cut the time spent traveling to and from work.
Mark Hayden, a pediatric cardiac intensivist at the hospital, makes an excellent point, noting that:
“We are not caring for children if we do not protect the environment and try to minimize the detrimental impacts that climate change will have on children’s health around the world.”
Cycling to work doesn’t just benefit the employees, but the patients too. As more workers ditch their cars, air quality is likely to improve in the surrounding area, helping to provide a healthier environment for the children.
The hospital has increased the number of bicycle parking spaces available to 300 and provided free bicycle maintenance to its nearly 5,000-strong team. According to BikeBiz, the hospital has also been in talks with Transport for London (TfL) and Camden Council to seek better and safer cycling routes for employees and visitors alike.
Did you know that one of the world’s biggest banks has been getting people to cycle to work?
In 2019, HSBC UK partnered with British Cycling on the Cycle Nation project, a project designed to learn more about getting people onto bikes.
The partnership included trials in offices across the UK for employees and some research and analysis. And that’s not all. When it comes to discouraging cars, they’re serious about it. The bank has reduced employee parking spaces by up to 90% in at least two locations to encourage cycling.
While the scheme was mainly designed to encourage employees to cycle, the results of the trials have also been shared with the government and other employers so that they can also promote the use of bikes.
The supermarket giant is another employer that’s going above and beyond when it comes to bikes.
As far back as 2013, Tesco introduced their bike-for-work scheme for their team of over a quarter of a million. The scheme was designed to reduce the financial barriers to purchasing a bike to get more of its employees to avoid the car when commuting.
Employees can purchase bikes at a lower cost due to tax savings and pay for them in installments at no additional rate via a ‘salary sacrifice.’
As one of the UK’s biggest employers, it’s great to see them promote cycling as an affordable and convenient means of transport to set an example across the country.
Jump forward to 2024, and the scheme has reportedly been extended to include e-bikes, making cycling to work easier and more accessible.
5. Cardiff Metropolitan University
After being awarded Wales’ most cycle-friendly business, Cardiff Met is doing a great job of getting people to cycle to work.
The university has introduced all-weather cycle storage passes for students and staff and dedicated showers and lockers for bike commuters.
Not only that, but they’ve introduced bike doctor sessions to help students get back on the road as quickly as possible if any problems arise. And they’re not just helping themselves.
Recognizing the importance of community involvement, they’ve also donated unwanted bicycles to a local charity for refurbishment and recycling. As of 2021, some students have also been actively working in partnership with Welsh Cycling in looking for ways to increase participation across the whole country.
6. New Belgium Brewing
Few things go together, like bikes and craft beer. It’s an explicable match made in heaven.
New Belgium Brewing has a long history with bikes. The company was born after the founder, Jeff Lebesch, cycled through Belgium, sampling a few beers on the way, no doubt!
To this day, employees are gifted one of their iconic cruisers after a year of employment.
Staff at the Fort Collins headquarters are known for hitting the cyclocross together on their lunch break, and they’re also welcome to attend on-site bicycle ‘fix-it’ stations.
But it doesn’t just benefit their employees. Since its founding in the 1990s, the company has also donated over 9 million dollars to bike non-profits nationwide!
7. Essen Police Department
Do you wish there was a way that you could combine your love of cycling with your passion for law enforcement? There might be an answer for you.
The Essen Police Department in Germany was recently voted as the most cycle-friendly police force in the country!
The station is equipped with bike racks, parking spaces for cargo bikes, a clothes drying station, charging stations for e-bikes, and even a small bicycle repair shop!
The hope is that these facilities will encourage the officers to cycle to and during work and promote a culture of cycling across the town.
Companies and institutions that encourage people to cycle to work don’t just benefit economically but can massively improve the environments in which they operate.
We know that bikes have amazing transformative capabilities for communities, both local and global, and it’s the responsibility of businesses to make this known, however small the step might seem.