Did you know that making your business more bicycle friendly is a great way to improve your workplace? Companies that are bike friendly tend to have employees who are happier and more productive—which can translate to better quality work and better customer service. It’s also a great way to lower healthcare costs, since employees who ride regularly tend to be in better physical condition.
The League offers certification for businesses through the Bicycle Friendly Business program, which provides many benefits to companies that commit to being bike friendly—including national recognition and exposure.
To see where you stand, you can take the free assessment today. But if you need a few pointers on where to get started, check out our list of 5 Easy Steps to Be More Bicycle Friendly below. From our experience in moving from Silver to Gold BFB status, these low- to no-cost steps make an impact on a company’s road to becoming more bike-friendly, and are super easy to implement at any level of your organization.
1. Provide Parking
There are plenty of unobtrusive ways to provide safe and secure bike parking for your employees. We have yet to see an office space that doesn’t have at least a few unused cubicles—by simply removing the desks these can become ideal places to store bikes. You can also provide space in storage closets or in a corner of a warehouse, you can buy a few racks to put in a hallway; or invest in installing secure bike racks outside your building or store.
2. Provide Support
If you have a really dedicated rider in your office (it may even be you, if you’re reading this), they are probably more than happy to share what they know with other employees. Many employees may be interested in starting to commute by bike, but need a little encouragement or have concerns they would like addressed. Setting aside some time, maybe over a lunch break, for employees to go over basic safety and bike handling skills, commuter tips, and giving them a chance to ask questions can give a big boost in confidence and help more employees be moved to action.
3. Reward Riding
You may not know it, but the Federal government actually gives a tax break for commuting to work by bicycle. There are some rules and stipulations to follow (you can read more about it here), but both employees and employer can get a pretty nice tax benefit by commuting by bike more often. There’s also opportunity for companies to offer their own rewards programs. For instance, here at Performance Bicycle we offer additional employee discounts on bike gear for regular bike commuters. Get creative with it. Whether it’s a pizza Friday if a certain number of employees ride to work, product giveaways, cash incentives, or other ideas that reward employees for choosing the bike, there are plenty of ways you can incentivize riding.
4. Offer Facilities
A major concern for employees is having access to a place to clean up, change clothes, and perhaps hang wet gear out to dry for the ride home. To that end, installing a shower in the workplace is often less expensive that you might think. Or if that won’t be possible or is cost prohibitive, you may look at converting a utility closet or rest room into a bike-friendly area with lockers or hooks for employees to hang their gear, and a sink that can make washing up easier.
5. Create An Employee Organization
This doesn’t have to be super formal, or a race-team or anything like that. But encouraging employees who regularly ride to form an organization or committee can help create a feeling of community among employees and give them a stake in improving the cycling experience at your workplace. It can also provide a resource for other employees who may be interested in commuting to work or taking up riding, as well as a team who can implement or improve on some of the suggestions above.
This article was originally published by Brian T. from the League of American Bicyclists