Cycle to Work Day: How to get your workforce involved
How do your employees get to work? If they drive, they're like 68% of the employees we spoke to about their commuting habits.
They might also be among the 32% who are worried about the amount they spend on travel each year, as fuel prices and the cost-of-living continue to rise.
With 47% of employees considering changing their daily commute, Cycle to Work Day offers a chance to try out a cheaper, healthier, and cleaner alternative.
In fact, almost half of workers have already taken up cycling or are considering it to decrease travel costs. And this year’s annual celebration of cycle commuting could help nudge more employees to take to the saddle.
To help your business embrace national Cycle to Work Day, we've pulled together some of the most effective strategies and initiatives to encourage your workforce to switch to a healthier, more active commute for the national day and beyond.
As you'll see, it doesn't matter how far or fast people cycle or if they've not cycled since childhood - cycling to work will unlock mental health, physical fitness, and financial benefits. What’s more, Cycle to Work Day 2023 could give them the encouragement they need to make it a regular way to commute.
What is Cycle to Work Day?
Cycle to Work Day is the UK's biggest cycling commuting event.
Open to everyone, whether they've never cycled before or saddle up every day, it's the perfect opportunity to experience firsthand the amazing health, mental wellbeing, and financial benefits of cycling.
It's all about encouraging a workplace culture of active travel - to grab a helmet, put on cycling shoes, and, as Freddie Mercury famously sang, 'Get on your bikes and ride!'
Of course, in an age of remote and hybrid working, the workplace may also be your home. That's why Cycle to Work Day isn't just about commuting, but encouraging all types of rides, whether it's dropping the kids at school, cycling round the park at lunchtime, picking up some extra milk from the shops, or heading out for a family cycle ride.
Since Cycle to Work Day first launched in 2019, the enthusiastic community of cycling commuters has clocked up some impressive stats:
- ● 38,353,055 miles ridden
- ● 3,034,936 rides logged
- ● 6,276,400 lb CO2 saved.
When is Cycle to Work Day?
This year's cycling celebration is on Thursday 3rd August 2023. Save the date and start getting your cycling gear ready!
How to join the Cycle to Work Day
Your employees can get inspired, log their rides, set riding goals, share photos, and more, by signing up with the Love to Ride online community. Setting up a free account is as easy as riding a bike:
- ● Create a profile
- ● Sync the Love to Ride account with a smartphone activity app
- ● Record a ride.
Plus, those that log a ride on 3rd August will automatically enter a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning some great cycling prizes, such as bike rental membership, a Fitbit Charge 5, big-name gift cards and more.
How to get your workforce involved in Cycle to Work Day
For some employees, changing their travel routine might take some persuading.
To help foster a cycling community in your workplace, here are some simple and easy-to-implement ways of encouraging employees to make the switch to commuting by bike.
Plus, you can spread the word about Cycle to Work Day with our free 'Save the Date' promotional materials, which you can download here.
Host a bike breakfast
Cycling is a great way to work up an appetite. So, reward your cycling colleagues with a bike breakfast.
Free tea, coffee, fruit, yoghurt, or fresh pastries will keep the rider's high going, promote a culture of cycling, and encourage a healthy habit of everyday cycling.
Reinforce that it's the greener choice
So be sure to highlight how swapping the car for cycling can support your business's green and corporate social responsibility goals by reducing congestion and environmental pollution.
Plus, you can ensure cycling continues to remain a popular option beyond Cycle to Work Day, by providing your workforce with regular insights on how their active travel commutes have helped to reduce your carbon footprint.
Offer flexible start and end times
To help employees avoid peak air pollution during rush hour, you could offer flexible working patterns so your workforce can travel to and from work during off-peak hours.
Plus, to give them peace of mind that their two-wheeled transport will be safe during the working day, offer secure, covered bike storage solutions such as bike racks.
Pair up bike buddies
It's only natural that employees who haven't cycled for years - or ever - might be nervous about taking to the saddle.
To help alleviate this fear, you could introduce a bike buddy system, where experienced cyclists are paired up with those new to or unsure about cycling.
This mentorship-type cycle scheme encourages colleagues to share advice about cycling and a sense of camaraderie.
Introduce a relaxed dress code
Make it easier for employees to dress for Cycle to Work Day with a bike-themed dress code.
This is where you encourage staff to ditch their usual work clothes in favour of cycle clothing. They might prefer to remove their cycle helmets at their desks though!
Provide shower facilities
One of the workplace challenges of commuting by bike is turning up for work hot and sweaty.
To overcome this, consider introducing shower facility access so your cyclists have somewhere to wash and change before starting their working day. If you don't have onsite showers, consider joining forces with a neighbouring business or local gym so their facilities are available to your workforce.
Offer free bike checks
To help employees maintain their bicycles and ensure a safer commute, you could host an onsite bike maintenance workshop led by experts from local bike shops.
As well as offering staff a free bike service, these sessions could include advice on common cycling issues, such as how to replace tyres and effective chain maintenance.
Promote the wellbeing benefits
Remind your employees before Cycle to Work Day that riding a bike to work brings a huge range of employee benefits, including:
- ● Physical wellbeing: Cycling burns calories and builds muscle, which makes it a top way to improve fitness. Those who take to the saddle also have lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, a 39% lower mortality rate and take 1.3 fewer sick days than those who don't.
- ● Mental wellbeing: Cycling has been shown to make active commuters happier, more energetic, and have lower stress levels.
- ● Financial wellbeing: Commuting to work by bike can save employees £750 a year on average (this rises to £1,400 for those in Greater London). It's estimated that swapping a bike for a car for a three-mile daily commute can save £100 a year on fuel.
Make it fun, inclusive, and social
In the run-up to Cycle to Work Day encourage employees to share cycling tips, stories, and their favourite cycle routes on your company intranet, chat software, or in team meetings.
Also, be aware that your workforce will include varying degrees of cycling experience and confidence. So, make it easier for everyone to take part by arranging short lunchtime rides around the local park as an option for employees.
Group rides provide safety in numbers for those new to cycling and provide a fun and social aspect for both seasoned and beginner cyclists.
Add a competitive element
Adding some light-hearted and friendly competition is a great way to encourage more employees to take part in Cycle to Work Day.
- ● You could create a leaderboard where teams compete against
- each other to see who can log the most miles cycled. Points earned
- could then be redeemed for cycling-related prizes such as water
- bottles and bike locks, or incentives including gift cards and team
- ● Or how about giving away an additional days' annual leave? Enter
- the people who cycle commute on Cycle to Work Day into a raffle
- with the lucky receiving an extra day off as a thank you for supporting
- your local environment by cycling.
Provide financial support for longer term cycling commitment
Our research found that travel costs are one of the biggest concerns for employees right now. Yet, with the cost-of-living rising, some employees may struggle to afford a bike.
Introducing a salary sacrifice scheme employee benefit, such as Cyclescheme, solves this conundrum by providing employees with a way of getting a new bike and a range of cycling equipment at a reduced cost.
Cyclescheme saves employees between 25 and 39% by spreading the cost via monthly salary reductions before tax, which means they pay less Income Tax and National Insurance. Plus, they can spread the cost interest-free over a 12-month period of time and get 14 days cycling insurance at no additional cost.
Getting an affordable bike in time for Cycle to Work Day couldn't be easier as Cyclescheme gives employees access to over 2,600 retailers in-store and online.
As well as finding the perfect bike (including electric bikes), they can use the scheme for accessories such as cycle clips, cycle tools, bike lube, and cycle safety accessories.
With no administration costs, Cyclescheme is free to offer employees, plus your business can save up to 13.8% in Employer National Insurance per request.
For more information:
- ● Check out the Cyclescheme page
- ● See how much employees could save with the Cyclescheme calculator
Want to help your employees take to the saddle for Cycle to Work Day?
Adding Cyclescheme to your existing salary sacrifice schemes will help support your employees' physical, mental, and financial wellbeing and could get them on two wheels in time for Cycle To Work Day 2023.
To date, we've helped over one million employees take to the saddle with Cyclescheme. We'd love to add your employees to our cycling community.