Bike commuting is on the rise, with small convoys of cyclists spinning down Boston’s Southwest Corridor Park, along the Esplanade and across the Mass Ave Bridge. Commuters cycle for many reasons: to maintain their health, to save money on gas or public transit, and to limit their environmental impact.
In addition to these benefits to employees, creating an office culture that celebrates cycling creates benefits for employers. Exercise has been shown to increase productivity, and improving employee health through regular activity can mean better attendance. Promoting bike commuting also demonstrates your commitment to the community and environment by helping keep polluting cars off the road and encouraging employee well-being. Check out the steps below to create a bike-friendly workplace.
lock it up
Once employees arrive at work, they need a secure place to store their bikes. Speak to building management about installing an outdoor rack (bonus points if they are willing to install a shelter to protect bikes from the elements). Keep bikes organized inside the office with a rack, hooks or a nifty vertical ramp. Hang some extra hooks near the coat rack so that bike commuters can hang any drippy, muddy outer layers to dry on rainy days.
keep it clean
Biking to work is a great workout, but sitting at your desk feeling sweaty is sure to harsh any exercise high. Adding a shower to the office will help encourage employees to ride to work. If installing a shower stall is not an option, find out if any gyms nearby offer a discounted rate to members who only want to use the locker room facilities. Share this information with employees who bike to work, and offer to cover the discounted membership fee.
If there is an employee at your office who is especially knowledgeable about bikes, ask them to help assemble an office tool kit for employees to use. Having a multi-tool and some chain oil will help employees keep their bikes in tip-top shape and ready for the ride home.
make it count
Some financial incentives may help sweeten the deal for dedicated bike commuters, or tip the scales for a bike-ambivalent employee. Some companies offer stipend that employees can put towards the purchase of a bicycle or towards bicycle maintenance. Hubway, Boston’s bike sharing service, collaborates with area businesses and universities to offer memberships to employees at discounted rates.
keep it fun!
Sponsor a ride-to-work day event to get employees excited about bicycling and organize a breakfast to celebrate cycling. Help organize a cycling group so that bike commuters at your office can share tips, skills and tools.
Want to learn more? Check out these additional resources: City of Boston, MassBike, Hubway, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Bicycle Network
For more tips on creating a healthy office, check out our healthy workplace guide.