The benefits of a bike-friendly business

Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord Wellbeing

Every year, over three quarters of a million people cycle to work in England and Wales. That’s roughly 25% of the entire population. Studies show that cycling to work is good for your body, your mind and the environment, but did you realise the positive effect it can have on the economy and ultimately your business?

Over the past nineteen years, companies in the UK have been promoting a healthier and eco-friendlier lifestyle through the government's Cycle to Work scheme. Many have also encouraged their people staff to take part in national events such as Cycle To Work Day held every August. So why should your company join the rising trend of bike-friendly businesses? Here are three reasons why we believe you should promote cycling to work amongst your staff.

1. Promoting a longer, more productive life

There’s no denying that cycling is a convenient alternative to standard travel. But did you know it also improves productivity and staff retention? Based on the 2013 Commute and Exercise Survey commissioned by YouGov , employees who cycle to work take half as many sick days as the average UK worker. Cycling is a non-weight bearing form of aerobic and cardiovascular exercise that significantly reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type-two diabetes.

And it boosts your brain power too. Moderate, daily exercise – like cycling – can prevent cognitive decline and sharpen your memory. It also reduces stress, improves sleep patterns and combats symptoms of depression, all of which make for a happier, more motivated workforce.

2. Attracting and retaining talent

It’s estimated that Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Younger generations of workers are more passionate about sustainability and want to work for companies that have a positive effect on the environment. They feel that employers should be doing more to reduce their impact on the environment, particularly in combating climate change.

Studies show that companies that implement a cycle-to-work scheme see an increase in employee satisfaction and retention. By promoting active travel, employers can demonstrate corporate responsibility while improving staff wellbeing.

And offices that go even further to provide facilities for cyclists – like the in-office showers at Nicoll Curtin or the bike racks we built at Office Space in Town Monument – prove to their staff that wellbeing is at the forefront of the business.

3. Supporting the local economy

Just think about how much congestion and traffic clogs up the streets of London during the height of rush hour. This sort of congestion negatively impacts on the economy by preventing the movement of goods and services, which is projected to cost roughly £22 billion by 2025. By encouraging your staff to cycle instead of drive, you’re mitigating the economic risk of excessive road transports. You’re also helping to reduce the amount of pollution, road accidents and the general physical inactivity of the UK population.

According to Transport for London, removing one car parking space by convincing someone to cycle into to work instead of drive can save the business up to £2,000 per year in high-density urban areas. So just think about what sort of value that would have if you managed to get at least 25% of your staff cycling into the office.

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