Incentives would encourage cycling to work

Almost half (48%) of respondents would cycle to work more often if there were extra incentives or rewards for them to do so, according to research by innovation foundation Nesta.

The research, which surveyed more than 4,000 UK adults, found that, among employees who already cycle to work, the factors most likely to get them to cycle more include: safe storage (40%), access to bike maintenance (31%) and shower facilities (29%).

A further 14% said they would welcome training sessions, such as road safety courses.

However, among employers surveyed in another piece of research by Nesta, only 13% of HR decision makers said that they currently offer incentives and rewards to encourage employees to cycle to work.

Its Human resources decision makers and business leaders survey, which polled 507 HR decision makers, found that 23% of respondents said there would be no benefit to their organisation if more employees cycled to work.

Almost half (48%) of respondents said employee cycling would give them healthier staff and lead to fewer sick days, while 49% said it would help towards meeting their environmental targets.

A lack of employee demand was the most commonly perceived barrier to setting up a bikes-for-work initiative, with 39% of respondents citing this reason.

On the back of this research, Nesta has introduced a Workplace Cycling Challenge, which encourages employers to submit innovative ideas for getting more of their workforce commuting by bike. The challenge is open to all employers with 10 or more employees.

Geoff Mulgan, chief executive at Nesta, said: “Through our Workplace Cycling Challenge, we hope to remove some of the barriers to cycling and get more people on their bikes.

“Our research shows that many people would be keen to give cycling a go if only the right incentives were put in place and this presents organisations with a huge opportunity to reap all the benefits associated with an active, cycling workforce.”