Cycling to work has several benefits for employees; it’s good for their health, it can be faster during busy morning and evening rush hours, and parking a bicycle can be substantially easier than parking a car in the packed streets of a city centre. For businesses, providing adequate bicycle shelters with good security can make it even easier for employees to take up cycling, while demonstrating that you are aware of the challenges they face when making it into work in the mornings, and are willing to help out where you can.
Here are three of the main things to consider when encouraging cycling among your workforce – and how you as an employer can do your part to support your staff.
1. Safety first
On busy city roads, safety is an important consideration, so make sure your employees know that you have done what you can to protect them and their personal safety equipment. Secure bike shelters not only protect the bicycle itself against theft, but they also make it less likely that any removable additions, such as bike lights, could be stolen too.
Provide additional storage space for any specific clothing your employees wear during their commute, such as high-visibility vests, and you can ensure those items are kept safe, and are not brought into the main workplace where they may cause clutter or even represent a fire hazard.
2. Ease of access
If the main advantage of commuting by bike is the ease with which employees can navigate the traffic and park once they reach their destination, then it is equally important that they should have good access to their bike when they need it. That doesn’t just mean giving them a key to the secure bicycle compound in which they park – although that is clearly something to think about – but it can also be about how that compound is situated.
By giving it a levelled, concrete floor, it can be much easier for bicycles to be wheeled into the compound and parked securely in their allotted position, while also making it easier for them to be wheeled back out again, even if it is relatively dark outside.
3. Health awareness
Finally, supporting employees who turn to cycling for health reasons can mean helping them with their awareness not only of the benefits of cycling, but also of the risks that might be involved. RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, recently termed accidents as significant a public health concern as heart disease or cancer, saying that they account for “the bulk” of all casualty admissions in England each year.
However, this does not need to be off-putting for would-be cyclists, who make up just a small fraction of those annual accident statistics, often due to easily resolvable errors in judgement. By wearing high-visibility clothing and fitting bike lights, cyclists can make themselves more visible all year round – particularly in the shorter days of winter, when both the morning and evening commutes are likely to take place in darkness.