May 17 is Bike to Work Day, an annual event that takes place around the globe and promotes bicycling as a way to commute to work.
It’s no secret that biking to work is good for the environment and full of health advantages, but there are a number of other perks employers may not be familiar with.
Increased productivity: bicyclists arrive at work in a better mood and less stressed than those who commute by car.*
Reduced health care costs: moderate physical activity, such as biking to work, can save 5-12%** in annual medical costs.
Reduced parking costs: some organizations spend more than $700 per employee per year on parking.
Increased social responsibility: many consumers want to do business with eco-friendly companies and having a bike to work program can reduce your organization’s carbon footprint.
Recruitment and employee retention: wellness programs in the workplace are increasingly trendy and studies*** show that employees who participate in these programs are 67% more satisfied with than job, resulting in higher retention rate. In addition, 87% of employees say that they consider the health and well-being programs available when they are choosing a new employer.
Building certification credits: both BREEAM and LEED certification programs include credits for buildings with bicycle facilities.
How to get started
Start by appointing a bicycle coordinator to create a program in the workplace and make sure your building has the necessary elements. In the DC area, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, can support your efforts by evaluating your faculties and helping to identify safe routes to work.
If your city doesn’t offer a similar resource, looking to BREEAM’s transportation section is good way to identify the type of facilities you’ll need.
Create a safe, covered space for bicycle storage
Ideally this area should be indoors, but the key point is to provide a dry area to lock up a bike. The storage area must be in view of the building, well-lit and easily accessible.
As a rule of thumb, buildings should provide one bicycle space for every 10 employees or building occupants.
Locker Space & Shower Facilities
Employees should have a shower available and lockers large enough to store their helmets, a full change of clothes and a towel.
This one may not be obvious, but having a space dedicated to drying wet clothes (so that bikers can comfortably wear their gear on the ride home) will go a long way toward encouraging employees to participate in the program.
Have more questions about how to implement a BREEAM-compliant program? Contact us today.
**Source: Centers for Disease Control