How to boost employee engagement with cycling to work schemes

Businesswoman cycling outside Suffolk County Council in Suffolk

Cycling to work schemes improves staff morale, employee engagement and promotes good mental and physical health. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown new challenges in the path of businesses that are seeking to safeguard the wellbeing and happiness of their employees. 

Introducing cycling to work programmes can help to boost staff morale, improve engagement and promote good mental health. Suffolk County Council has partnered with Love to Ride UK, to encourage more people to take part in Cycle September, and bike to and from work.  

Colin Grogan, sport, health and inclusion manager at Suffolk County Council, tells us more about how you can get your company involved. 

Man leans on bike outside Suffolk County Council

Encouraging employees to cycle to work reduces the amount of sick leave taken annually. - Credit: georgerudy - stock.adobe.com

Q: What is the purpose of Cycle September? 

A: Cycle September is an annual international campaign run by Love to Ride, an organisation that encourages people around the world to cycle. Our aim is to increase exercise rates, improve mental and physical health and promote sustainable travel. Individuals earn points each time they cycle in order to win prizes for themselves and their team.  

Q: How can businesses benefit from taking part in the programme? 

A: Now that the Government is lifting restrictions and encouraging people to head back to their areas of work, cycling presents an excellent alternative to driving or public transport. Businesses can establish their own Cycle September campaigns alongside the national leader board, encouraging colleagues who otherwise may not interact with each other to get involved. 

Having more staff cycling to work can drastically improve their long-term health. This will not only help reduce the number of sick days taken, but will counteract the major health issues we collectively face such as heart disease and cancer.  

Woman cycling at Suffolk County Council, Suffolk

Businesses and individual employees can invite others to take part in cycle to work schemes in exchange for prizes. - Credit: connel_design - stock.adobe.com

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Q: How does cycling improve employee productivity and wellbeing? 

A: There is a lot of evidence to suggest that being more active increases productivity, and cycling to work is an excellent way to achieve that. During lockdown, we have seen an almost 200 per cent rise in the number of people using their bikes on weekends, and a 100 per cent rise during the week. 

Joining Love to Ride Suffolk is a great way for local businesses to welcome employees back to work, and highlight the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. 

Q: How does Cycle September help to foster better relationships between colleagues? 

A: There is a real chance for businesses to not only take part in a wider Love to Ride campaign, but to set up their own leader boards and prizes for their employees. The sign-up process is quick and easy, and workers can receive rewards by encouraging others to join the scheme.  

This will help bring teams together, garner a supportive environment and create a place where people will enjoy coming to work every day. Companies can also collaborate with other businesses in their local area to strengthen bonds and create a true sense of community.  

Man cycling to work at Suffolk County Council

Cycling to and from work drastically decreases the chances of long-term health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. - Credit: Drobot Dean - stock.adobe.com

Q: Can cycle to work campaigns benefit the public profile of businesses? 

Absolutely, especially with the current challenges posed by climate change and corporate social responsibility. The impact of encouraging employees to cycle to and from work aids not just the health and wellbeing of the individual and our environment, but also provides a positive contribution to the company in the public eye. 

Register before 11:59pm on August 31, 2021, to be entered into our prize draw for the chance to win one of three £100 local bike shop gift cards. 

For more information and to register with Love to Ride's Cycle September scheme, visit lovetoride.net/suffolk. Alternatively, you can contact local project manager Gayle Amorowson at gayle@lovetoride.org to arrange an informal discussion.

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