Cycling to work is good for your health – no brainer.
But did you know that cycling to work is also good for your career progression? Research by Cyclescheme.co.uk found that those who commute by bike are more productive, more focused and even felt that they were more likely to get promoted than their colleagues.
64% of those surveyed feel that cycling to work has helped them become more creative in the workplace, with 82% claiming that they are less stressed after cycling to work. Obviously cycling to work has clear impact on improved performance.
Furthermore, cycling to work can improve one’s work/life balance, enabling people to switch off after finishing work, putting them in a better mood when returning home and even improving one’s sex life!
The research even showed that taking public transport to work is better than driving. It doesn’t offer the same health benefits as cycling, but leaving the car at home does improve one’s psychological wellbeing, which is shown to worsen with every mile commuted.
For an employer concerned with employee engagement and satisfaction, the findings of this research are gold dust. Employees who cycle to work take fewer sick days over the course of a year, which is an important statistic when you consider 131 million days were lost due to sickness absence in the UK in 2013 – 4.4 days per worker. Of course, eradicating sickness is impossible, yet I would like to see what would be chopped off the 131 million days if an additional 10% of the workforce were to take up cycling to work. I think the results would shock many, as well as boost the earnings of many companies.
Imagine every company in the land aimed to encourage an uptake of employees cycling to work by 10%. It’s not such a far-fetched objective and the result would almost certainly be of much greater benefit than the cost of implementing the scheme – which, to be fair, is minimal to begin with. The Cycle to work scheme set up by the government (https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/) enables employers to acquire a bike tax free for their employees, saving up to 25% off the RRP. It is free to join and employees can pay back to cost of the bike through monthly salary instalments.
I personally think cycling to work is a win-win situation for everyone involved, and should be encouraged by employers, not just for fit and active members of the workforce but everyone. Let’s not forget that the workforce is getting older with people choosing to defer retirement until later in life. Keeping fit and healthy is an essential ingredient to achieving this extension of one’s working life and ensuring productivity doesn’t falter.