The legacy of Team GB’s success in the 2012 Olympic Games has ensured that cycling in Britain is more popular than ever before. For employers there is a big opportunity to meet the potential interest in cycling to work by providing, supporting and promoting effective Cycle to Work schemes.

In support of employee health and wellbeing

A recent study we carried out here at Edenred shows that cycling to work is one of the most effective ways of increasing fitness levels and good health among employees, which in turn has a direct and positive impact on an organisation’s performance. It has advantages for employees as individuals in their personal lives as well as reducing the number of sick days taken, increasing general resilience levels and improving performance at work.

Employees want more engagement from their employers

With 67% of employees living within cycling distance of work, the scope for employers to encourage take-up of a scheme is significant. However, although some employees may initially feel resistant or unsure about taking the plunge, the biggest factor in preventing them from realising the potential health benefits is employer apathy. Six in ten employees said they would consider cycling to work if they had more support from their employer according to our research, which also found that although two thirds of employees say they are fit enough to cycle to work, a similar number have never done so.

A cycle-to-work scheme is a good place to start

Our research shows clearly that providing a scheme is a step in the right direction – one in five employees say access to a new bike would encourage them to cycle to work. But that isn’t enough to ensure good take-up among keen members of staff. With such a large number of employees (82%) saying they were unaware of what their company does to support wellbeing at work and only a very small number (three in ten) saying they knew their workplace ran a cycle to work scheme, employers must improve communication and offer broader support for employees.

Practical steps employers can take

Employers who want to get the optimal health and wellbeing benefits from their cycle to work scheme should consider three key areas:

Any employer can get a scheme up and running, regardless of size. It is both a highly valued employee benefit and better than cost-neutral, creating employer NI savings for your organisation.

Seen from that perspective, do you need any more reasons to reconsider your approach to cycle to work?

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