Cycle to work schemes have been gaining in popularity in recent years, and then in 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic struck. The crisis saw more people than ever before walking and cycling to work in a bid to avoid busy public transport and the possibility of catching the virus.
This, in turn, led the government to set out a £250 million emergency active travel fund, the first stage of which was a £2 billion package to help boost greener and more active transport.
With many professionals now embracing cycling as a way of travelling to and from work, businesses have been presented with a huge opportunity.
Cycle to work schemes can have a hugely positive impact on a business and its workforce, so now could be the perfect time to implement one in your company.
Don’t believe us? Check out our list of the seven benefits of implementing a cycle to work scheme in your business this year.
1. You can save on your National Insurance contributions
Believe it or not, you can actually reduce your company’s National Insurance (NI) contributions when employees sign up for the cycle to work scheme - depending on how you choose to implement your scheme, that is.
This is because most cycle-to-work schemes allow employees to buy a bike and accessories through the scheme, and then the payments are taken in installments directly from their salary as part of a salary sacrifice.
In these cases, employers also benefit because NI contributions can be reduced by as much as 13.8% of the value of all equipment bought. And because the cost is deducted from their salary before National Insurance and income tax, this also means the employee will save on the cost of their bike and equipment too.
2. You’ll reduce parking and congestion problems in the area
If you introduce a cycle to work scheme in your business, you’ll find that you need a lot fewer parking spaces around your workplace, or your employees won’t struggle to find a parking spot each morning.
After all, bike racks take up far less space than a car, and you can fit roughly twenty bicycles in the same space as a single car.
Pretty impressive, right?
And if you can reduce the number of employees that need parking spaces on or near the premises, you might find that you’re able to save on the building and upkeep of these parking spaces.
Not only this but using a cycle to work scheme reduces traffic congestion and pollution in the surrounding area. This is not just great for employees who have to fight their way through traffic every day, but it’s also great for everyone in the local area.
3. Employee’s mental and physical health will improve
Those who cycle to work every day are naturally going to be fitter and healthier than those who drive. This is a huge benefit to them, of course, but it’s also great news for businesses too.
This is because healthy staff are likely to be more productive and to perform better than those who aren’t looking after their health as much.
It is also beneficial for their mental health. Regular exercise has been proven time and time again to reduce mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Which, again, will benefit both employees and their employers.
After all, happy and driven staff contribute more towards the business than those who are feeling stressed or weighed down by their mental wellbeing.
4. It’s likely you’ll see improved attendance
For all the reasons we have just outlined in the last point, a cycle to work scheme can be a great way to boost attendance.
Staff who are fitter, healthier and happier will not just perform better, but they are also likely to take fewer sick days throughout the year. This is obviously great news for business!
5. The environmental benefits too
Did you know the average person commuting four miles each way to and from work can save 0.5 tonnes of CO2 - that’s 6% of their annual carbon footprint - by switching to a bike?
And in today’s world, we are becoming increasingly aware of our environmental impact, and more and more people are embracing sustainable practices and looking for businesses that do this too.
So, not only does implementing a cycle to work scheme promote eco-friendly transport initiatives and help individuals to cut their carbon footprint, but it also helps your business to fulfill your corporate social responsibilities.
This can boost your reputation both with consumers and with employees.
6. It can boost your employer branding
Following on from the last section, not only can a cycle scheme boost your reputation for being environmentally friendly, but it can also boost your employer branding.
This is because lots of professionals will look for businesses that offer these types of benefits and incentives. They want to work for a company that is responsible and is doing more to reduce their impact on the planet.
Not only this, but it also shows that you care about your workforce and want to help them make better choices in terms of the environment and their own health.
7. It’s free and easy to do!
And finally, these schemes are free to join and easy to implement. This means that you get all of the benefits above without having to shell out for expensive schemes, reward programs, and more. And in many cases, you’ll also get ongoing support from your provider, giving you great ideas for how you can embrace and promote the scheme in your business.
Is it time you implemented a cycle to work scheme in your business?
If you weren’t sold before, it’s easy to see why so many businesses have already chosen to implement cycle-to-work schemes. From looking after the wellbeing of your employees to looking after the planet, cycling to work can make a huge difference to both parties. Plus, you could save your business money whilst boosting your reputation - it’s a win-win!