In today's world, sustainability and environmental concerns are increasingly taking centre stage as daily topics. They are also becoming important personal and organisational goals for many. Employers are following suit and increasingly recognising the significance of creating supportive and inclusive workplaces which encourage alternative modes of transportation.
Embracing cycling as a commuting option helps promote healthier lifestyles whilst also contributing to reducing carbon emissions and creating a positive workplace culture. Becoming a cycling-friendly employer is a way to enhance your organisation's commitment to employee well-being and a better and greener future.
So, how do you become a cycling-friendly employer? Let's delve into some steps and strategies needed to achieve that. From providing secure bike parking to supporting bike-to-work initiatives, we'll explore how small changes can transform your workplace into a haven for cyclists.
Being a cycling-friendly employer involves creating a workplace environment that supports and encourages employees to choose cycling as a viable and genuinely comfortable mode of transportation. Here are some steps you can take to become a cycling-friendly employer:
Bike Storage Facilities
One of the most basic things cyclists need is bicycle storage facilities. Having somewhere safe and secure to park your bike is essential if you commute with it. It is also one of the reasons people quote when asked why they aren't riding their bike to work. So, install safe and convenient bike racks, bike stands, or, depending on your space and locations available, bike shelter. Designate an area for cyclists that is within close proximity to your office entrance. Ensure that these areas are well-lit and secure.
Trip End Facilities
Another common worry amongst aspiring cyclists is that travelling by bike may mean spending a day in the office looking messy, smelly and sweaty after the ride. Providing showers and changing facilities to employees would be greatly appreciated by them and would encourage them to cycle without worrying about any of this.
Take Part in Bike-to-Work Schemes
Join a bike-to-work scheme of your choice and allow employees to get a bicycle and appropriate gear without having to front up all the costs. Bike-to-work schemes are a great way to encourage employees to buy a bike by spreading the cost over a long period without interest. If you join a scheme, promote the initiative through internal communications so everyone hears the message.
Support Cycling Initiatives
Encourage employees to participate in national or local initiatives like No Car Day or Bike-to-Work Week. And if nothing like that exists where you are located, why not set up your own initiative? Again, you should ensure this is well-publicised to your employees so that many can participate. Provide incentives and rewards for participation; everyone loves a little bit of friendly competition.
Provide Bike Maintenance Support
Minor bike accidents, like punctured or deflated tires or a wobbly screw, are pretty common. They are also a worry, especially for less experienced cyclists. Installing a small bike repair station is a way to give your employees peace of mind. Offer access to basics like pump and maintenance tools like Allen keys, spanners, screwdrivers and pliers. This is usually enough to do an emergency fix on a bike. Alternatively, consider partnering with local bike shops for discounts or maintenance services for your employees.
Foster a Positive Cycling Culture
People often don't like being the first to do something, so getting some people to cycle will probably have a domino effect on others. You need to make sure they feel like part of a real community. Building a strong and welcoming cycling culture in the workplace is essential for the long-term success of shifting people's preferred mode of transport from car to bike. Highlight advantages to cycling such as improved health and fitness, reduced commuting costs and less carbon emissions. Offer cycling perks to incentivise employees to cycle regularly. Organise group rides, set up a company cycling team and join in on local cycling events together.
Recognise and celebrate cycling achievements and milestones for the whole company and individuals. Many companies do "Cyclist of the Month" competitions or similar little celebratory posts to make employees feel good about cycling.
Remember, being a cycling-friendly employer is about creating an environment supporting employees' transport choices and promoting the benefits of active commuting. By implementing these steps, you can encourage a healthier and more sustainable commuting culture within your organisation. To learn how to design the best bike-to-work facilities, visit our resources section.
Lastly, did you know you can also get certified as a Cycle-Friendly Employer? You can find out more at Cycling Scotland if you are a Scottish employer, or read about Cycling UK's national certification program.
If you'd like to talk about bike storage solutions suitable for your property, don't hesitate to get in touch.