The number of commuters cycling to work has significantly increased: more than 14 million Italians have a bike and 5 million of those have replaced the car with the bicycle.
Well, maybe we aren’t that lazy.
However, two wheels commuters have to deal with some difficulties, not least when they arrive at their destination. Changing rooms, access to bike purchase schemes, showers and parking garages where to leave your bike or even economic incentives are the desires of every cyclist, but that often comes up against a question: why an employer should spend money to encourage the use of bikes nowadays?
We can consider it as a benefit, like food stamps or business phone, but there’s more. In this case, we aren’t looking merely at a cost but towards an investment: money spent on improving production factors with a view to increasing profits.
How cycling can increase productivity?
- it increases the ability of concentration and boosts your energies;
- it improves your mood: people who ride to work arrive invigorated and can work off the day’s stress on the way home;
- it improves the ability to set priorities;
- it improves memory.
On top of all that, using the bicycle is a way to reduce health care costs: cyclists indeed live an average of two years longer than those who don’t use the bike, but, above all, have a lower absenteeism rate than those who do not use the bike by almost 50%. It’s estimated that in the UK an increase in the use of the bike could increase labor productivity of 15.5 billion euros.
Rather than cycling, employers should, therefore, encourage sports activities among their employees. Several surveys reveal that the most frequent excuses given by those who do not exercise are lack of time, the aversion to gyms and, last but not least, the fact that many cannot even afford to go to the gym. Choosing two wheels for transportation doesn’t imply any cost, apart from the initial cost of the bicycle and small maintenance costs. Freedom is free.
Why should you encourage cycling among your colleagues and employees?
Commuting by bike can be the answer to all of these problems. A good part of the time used for commuting to work by bike would still be used to drive, find parking and walk to your office. Cycling means a “free gym on wheels” and, at the same time, it gives an economic benefit as it cuts the cost of gasoline.
In short, cycling is good for your health and it’s no secret that a worker in good health is more productive than a sick one. Finally, it is worth mentioning a study that highlights how organizations that promote the use of bicycles receive a return of between € 1.33 and € 6.50 for every euro invested in cycling.
Tomorrow is Cycle to Work Day, an annual initiative to encourage commuters to try travelling by bike rather than in cars or by public transport. From their website, it’s possible to challenge your friends or employer to take part in Cycle to Work Day. It could be a great excuse to win a free breakfast and to enhance your company productivity too!