"When employees experience reduced stress levels, they are happier and enjoy greater wellbeing, so it makes sense that that has the potential to positively affect productivity."
The director of bike hire scheme Bike & Go has said that there is a ‘clear business case’ for companies to consider investing in bike hire schemes after a report revealed increased productivity in those who cycle to work.
David O’Leary said that the research, which was undertaken by Concordia’s John Molson School of Business in Canada, backs up previous claims that businesses can benefit from encouraging their employees to commute by bike.
Researchers looked at the effect that cycling, driving and public transport had on mood and stress levels of 123 employees at Autodesk, an IT company in Old Montreal.
While the study, which was published in the International Journal of Workplace Management, did not find any difference in the effect that cycling had on mood, it did show significantly reduced levels of stress within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travelled by car.
The results, said the report’s lead author Stéphane Brutus, indicated that cycling to work was a good way to have a good day – a point, added David, that Bike & Go has been making since launching its corporate scheme last summer.
“The mental and physical benefits of cycling to work are well known,” said David. “Those benefits alone can result in improved productivity through a reduction in staff absence, but fewer studies have been carried out on how the mode of transport used to commute can affect the health of the business.
“When employees experience reduced stress levels, they are happier and enjoy greater wellbeing, so it makes sense that that has the potential to positively affect productivity."
In fact, the study’s author claims that recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect hours later. According to Brutus, they can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day.
The findings, said David, should be taken into account by employers looking for ways to increase staff wellbeing and productivity, with cycle schemes being considered as a viable investment.
“There are a wide range of corporate cycle schemes on offer now, from bike hire schemes such as Bike & Go to the government’s cycle to work schemes. Most of these provide numerous benefits to businesses and employees alike, and help contribute towards a happier, healthier workplace.
“In addition, investing in corporate cycle schemes improves employers’ environmental credentials, helps staff to save on travel and parking costs, and lowers the impact on the environment.”
Operating from 70 participating train stations across the UK, Bike & Go is the most flexible, affordable cycling scheme available to business users and offers bespoke plans to suit each business.
Staff can rent a bike for up to 72 hours from their chosen train station and take it anywhere they want, including business meetings, before returning it to any participating train station.
For more information go to http://www.bikeandgo.co.uk/corporate/