I’m 24 and still don’t have a driver’s license. I grew up in a walkable city, and make sure that wherever I live, the majority of the time I can walk or bike.
A 40 minute walk to work is the perfect amount of time for me to catch up on podcasts and listen to some tunes before I start my day at the office (not to mention that it’s my main form of exercise).
Don’t ignore pedal power
I was speaking with a friend about how I walk EVERYWHERE, and he told me to listen to Jeff Speck, a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. In his TED talk, he speaks about the impact of walkable and bikeable cities on the health and wellness of its residents, and how it leads to healthier residents and a better quality of life than those who live in non-walkable/bikeable cities.
I know you’re probably thinking that this is obvious, but Speck also mentions how most people think that diet is predominantly responsible for obesity, but that research disproves this. One research project in the UK called “Gluttony Versus Sloth” tracked weight against diet and tracked weight against inactivity.The researchers found a much higher, stronger correlation between the latter two.
Additionally, Speck speaks about the environmental impact of driving and how the amount that people drive in a city is a good prediction of the asthma problems there.
Luckily, governments have caught onto the endless amounts of benefits that come with walking or biking and some have put systems in place to help encourage this behaviour amongst individuals.
What’s HR got to do with it?
There is a UK government scheme called Cycle To Work, and it was introduced to promote healthier journeys to work. If your business signs up to the Cycle To Work scheme, your employees can get their hands on a brand new bike, all the safety gear they need, and get up to 42% off the total price.
Under the terms of the scheme, the business makes a loan of up to £1,000 to the employee, and they pay it back in installments through payroll deductions. The savings to the employee come mostly through the tax advantages of buying their kit this way.
HR has the opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle amongst employees. In the end, it will make them happier, healthier, and probably more productive at work.
How do you know it’s a good fit?
Companies that use bob can access more information than usual on employees hobbies and interests (only what individuals want to share, of course!). So, you could check to see how many people in your organisation list cycling as a hobby to decide whether the scheme is worth investigating for your business.
Here’s a look at the bob team’s most popular hobbies:
At bob, cycling is in the top four most common hobbies, so a Cycle To Work scheme went down well with our team.
In our London office, five of the 20-strong team already cycle at least part of their way to work, and we’re expecting several more to take up the opportunity in coming months.
It’s not complicated
Some businesses are put off setting up schemes like Cycle To Work because they assume there’s a lot of admin involved. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.
The Benefits Store in bob scans your employee data and sets up the scheme for you with a few clicks.
If you’re a growing company and haven’t heard of the Cycle To Work scheme, now is your chance to take advantage of it!
Click here to learn more about how you can set up the cycle to work scheme with bob.