To help New Zealand businesses get more employees in the saddle, the NZ Transport Agency has launched a new set of free Bike Wise resources.
The resources include guides on running in-house cycle events; tips on cycle safety; the health, financial and sustainable benefits of cycling; and helpful suggestions on how to improve workplace cycling facilities and develop a cycle plan to engage staff.
The NZTA’s Network User Behaviour Manager Jennie Gianotti says encouraging staff to cycle to work, take lunchtime cycle breaks, or participate in company-wide cycling events can benefit the individual as well as the workplace.
“Studies have shown that employees who exercise regularly can be more productive, feel more alert and are less stressed in their jobs than those who don’t,” she says.
“The Bike Wise programme is about encouraging Kiwis to give cycling a go, and to see how fun and easy it can be, while realising all the benefits cycling can offer.
“You don’t need to be a die-hard, lycra-clad cyclist to get involved,” she says.
Cycling also offers social benefits for the workplace. Employees cycling together can improve teamwork and strengthen relationships, which in turn increases happiness, productivity and general wellbeing in the workplace.
The Auckland office of leading projects firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) supports its employees’ cycling efforts through a dedicated bike user group. Launched in 2008, the bike user group provides support and advice for cyclists, while SKM staff also have access to facilities such as a bike lock-up, showers, lockers and fresh towels.
SKM Bike User Group Champion Matt Hancock says the benefits are great for both SKM and its employees.
“After riding to work, I feel more awake than if I had been sitting on the bus or in the car,” Mr Hancock says.
“Having the office facilities available makes things really easy. Supporting staff who decide to cycle makes them happier and more alert, as well as reducing the hassle and expense of car parking. People also feel good about using a sustainable transport option,” he says.
With national Go By Bike Day on February 13, as part of February’s Bike Wise Month, companies are encouraged to launch their own in-house cycle programme or events.
Each workplace that registers events on the Bike Wise website (www.bikewise.co.nz(external link)) will receive a goodies box packed with cycle safety giveaways that are guaranteed to be hot property around the workplace (limited stocks).
For more information on how to get your workplace cycling, please visit www.bikewise.co.nz/resources/resources-workplaces(external link)