Hidden Savings of Cycle to Work
Priorities and expectations around work-life balances have really shifted this year. Whilst burnout and productivity have always been talking points, the conditions around them have tipped the balance leaving many workers and companies longing for a return to normal--and a return to the physical office. Within this shift is a recalibration of what it means to have a work perk and what employment benefits staff are seeking. Whether it’s a hybrid working environment to keep their commuting down or simply incorporating more activity into the working day, workers are looking to their company leaders to help them redefine how they work. Below we’ve highlighted some of the hidden benefits of the Cycle to Work scheme for your business as well as the direct benefits to the workforce.
Boost your commitment to the environment
More and more businesses are taking on the challenge of minimising their carbon footprint, whether through new energy suppliers, better recycling practices, or introduction of more sustainable materials at work. However, the issue of commuting is often one of the trickier matters to resolve when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint of the workplace. Everyone needs a way of making it to work and not everyone has the ability to live a walking distance away. However, a Cycle to Work scheme may help reduce the carbon footprint of your company by encouraging staff that are just outside of a comfortable walking distance to bike to work. Looking at the average carbon cost across the four commuting types - car, rail, bus, and bike - we calculated that you could reduce the carbon footprint of one commuter by 99% by switching from car to bike, 96% from rail, or 92% from bus! And that’s in one year. Over the course of the average employee lifetime of 4.5 years that would save 491.30 kg of carbon dioxide emissions from converting just one car commuter into a bike commuter.
Cut down on delays
Another pain point for most commuters is rush hour traffic. And whilst traffic has been down over the past year, you can bet it will get bad again once offices open full time - even if employees do take advantage of a hybrid work from office/home type schedule. This is where rail commuters suffer the most in delays. In 2019/20, there were over 2.75 million delays on rail services across the UK resulting in 1.7 million minutes of wasted time. And, on top of that, there were over 250,000 cancellations.
For motorists, whilst their yearly time on the roads travelling to work is the second lowest of all commuter types, they too face a lot of time lost stuck in traffic. In the average year, they lose over 2 hours on the motorways on the way to work and a whopping 10 hours if they commute by A-roads! And that’s just the strain on the commuter. Unreliable transport and potential to be snarled up in traffic only leads to tardiness and absenteeism, affecting company productivity. A cycling commuter, on the other hand, is more likely to arrive at work on time and is energised for the work day through the release of endorphins.
Commuting to work, no matter the method, involves some sort of investment. Whether it’s driving and all the maintenance involved with your vehicle, or paying the rising prices of public transport, there’s really no way to circumvent having to pay to get paid. And sometimes investing in a proper bicycle to make the trek to work also seems steep at first. But that’s the beauty of a cycle to work scheme. It helps employees purchase a bike through their employer without the employer suffering any losses. The employee can then pay off the bike in manageable instalments to get the bike that truly suits them and their commute. So whether they choose an e-bike or a traditional push bike, the employee gets the benefits. They also recoup the initial investment of the bike, accessories, and the insurance rather quickly in the first year, whereas they would consistently have to be shelling out to drive a car or ride a bus or train.
Productivity and Mood-boosting
As previously mentioned, riding a bike to work can help cut down on travel time, allowing workers to engage in other meaningful activities that are important to them. However, the benefits are not just limited to the costs. By getting in some exercise through their commute, they release endorphins to get them energised for work and to help them unwind after. Those same endorphins, as well as serotonin, improve your mood, increasing individual self esteem and reducing stress levels and anxiety. More importantly, that boost in self esteem boosts productivity, allowing workers to be more confident in their output as well as being more efficient. Lower stress levels and anxiety also contribute to overall positivity as well, generating a better environment at work for all.
After a year of uncertainty and health and wellbeing becoming increasingly important, Cycle to Work schemes can be the perfect way for employers to support their staff make the transition back into the office whilst continuing to encourage healthy habits at work and beyond. The benefits aren’t limited to just exercise and costs, but also productivity levels and growing commitments to the environment and mental health.