Octopus reaches out for bikes for work take-up

When Lisa Hamill joined marketing and PR company Octopus Group as HR director two years ago, she set out to revive the firm’s salary sacrifice bikes-for-work scheme.

The company started promoting the scheme in March 2011 as the weather improved, using its intranet to explain how it worked and outline the benefits.

“We launched it around April and back then we had 55 employees and five took it up, so we got a 10% take-up, which is not bad for a first time,” says Hamill.

Four of the five staff who took part are based in the firm’s London office, but Hamill also has high hopes for the scheme at its Windsor premises. “We need to do as much as we can to attract people from the local area to come and work here,” she says. “It also benefits us to know we do not have to find a parking space. It costs us about £800 a year for each person to park in Windsor.”

The firm’s workforce has increased to 70 over the past year and Hamill now intends to run a second campaign in the spring to encourage more to sign up.

“We are considering offering some kind of personal benefit or points toward cycle equipment for every mile people cycle, or maybe we will make a contribution to charity for every time staff cycle the equivalent of John O’Groats to Land’s End,” says Hamill.

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