Posted - February 18, 2021
2021 sees us still in the grips of Coronavirus, its impact felt by everyone. 2020 was a very difficult year, and for most of us, it changed the way we work, perhaps even forever. Above all, mental health and looking after ourselves should be at the forefront of our minds right now. If your staff (and indeed, yourself) are finding things difficult, there are a few things we can all do to help. We’re biased, yes, but cycling has so many benefits, least of all helping to keep us happy.
We know it can be difficult, life is busy, people are busy. Sometimes the last thing anyone wants to do is feel like they are taking on too much. That’s why we’re thinking realistically, and want to show you that it doesn’t have to be difficult, and in fact, the benefits of encouraging people to cycle, especially right now, will really make a difference.
Make it Fun
While it can be difficult, especially given the circumstances, there are ways you can encourage hitting goals and making the experience more enjoyable.
Why not start a Strava group and set challenges. Having something to work towards, and a tangible target to aim for makes people more likely to get involved. Tracking progress and sharing the experience (with some friendly competition) will be an incentive in itself. Of course, you could also offer additional incentives for those who meet targets or complete challenges.
There are now plenty of apps and technology available to allow you to create fun things for people to get involved in. Why not start a Zwift meetup or event and encourage those who like to workout with their turbo trainers at home to join in.
Cycle to Work Scheme
If you don’t already have one, setting up a Cycle to Work scheme couldn’t be simpler. In fact, it’s free, easy to do, and can help your business save money. It also means that your employees can save money on a new bike and cycling equipment.
It’s an affordable way to buy a new bike through salary sacrifice, and it has multiple benefits. Offering a Cycle to Work scheme to your employees makes cycling more accessible and affordable. Between us, and our bike shop network, we can offer advice to anyone looking to buy a bike, whether that’s from us or one of our partners, we’re happy to help (we also offer webinars). Another bonus is that whilst employees save money on commuting costs and the cost of a new bike, you also make savings on your National Insurance contributions.
Take some time
Encourage people to take time to cycle, even if it’s a quick ride around their local area (providing it’s safe to do so). Even if they are working from home right now it’s good to allow people time and actively encourage them to stay active. It will help their wellbeing, mental health and help relieve stress. Even if it’s not cycling, getting out for a walk will help.
Although technology allows us to keep in touch, working from home offers a different dynamic than being in the workplace. Too much screen time and not taking the time to go for breaks is easily done. While it’s not your responsibility to ensure people stay active, there’s nothing wrong with letting them know it’s ok to have a little downtime to do so. No one needs to feel guilty about indulging in some self-care to help them maintain their wellbeing.
Change it up
Think about ways that you can make your workplace more cycle friendly, ask people what would encourage them to cycle, and if there’s anything you can do to make it easier for them. As an idea, you could offer:
- Facilities to shower and change.
- Have an office pool bike (s).
- A workplace cycling group.
- As mentioned above, sign up with a Cycle to Work scheme.
- Provide information on where to find routes and things like cycle parking.
- Provide secure cycle parking.
- Work with and find businesses in your area that offer cycling training.
- Promote cycling events in your communications (such as cycle to work day etc).
By doing all these things you can look to apply for accreditation from Cycling UK and be listed as a Cycle Friendly Employer.
Cycling to work doesn’t have to be difficult. There is work to be done where cycling infrastructure is concerned, but there are investments being made all the time. To be part of that and to encourage people to choose a healthier, greener transport option not only benefits your staff, but the environment too.
There are now many options that make cycling to work easier, electric bikes, more casual cycling clothing, accessories, cycling bags and racks to make carrying everything no problem at all. Cycling to work, and for enjoyment can give people something to keep healthy, a different mode of transport (especially important at the moment) and means they’ll likely get to work quicker than if they were sat in traffic. So if you do anything this year, encourage people to cycle, there’s really no reason not to!
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