7 in 10 companies who offer the Bike to Work Scheme say the scheme improved staff health according to Cycle to Work Alliance. We’ve worked with lots of companies to help implement their Bike Scheme and have had positive feedback from them about the boost in the overall wellbeing of their employees.
Straight away this shows the benefits of the scheme. The health and wellbeing of staff is key. It helps to reduce time off, increase employee satisfaction and is likely to improve the company’s employee retention levels.
However, the health of staff isn’t the only benefit of this scheme, there are many more for your employees and you as the employer.
If you’re considering the Bike Scheme for your employees, head over to our Bike Scheme page.
How the Bike Scheme works
Scheme set up
Setting up the Bike Scheme for your company is a very easy process, all you need to do is contact your scheme/benefits provider, they can set up the scheme to your requirements.
For example employers can set spending limits for their employees to help manage the cashflow or select the term for the salary sacrifice period to make the deductions more manageable for your employees.
Not only is the process easy for employers to set up the scheme but it’s also simple for employees to make use of it.
Before employees apply through our Bike Scheme offered in conjunction with Cycle2Work, they can use the online calculator tool to assess the affordability of joining the scheme costs before committing to anything. They can also use this to calculate any Tax and NI savings they’ll make through the scheme.
There are also no credit checks involved with the scheme, so employees don’t have to worry about this. Staff can make use of the scheme no matter their circumstances.
Once the employee’s application has been approved, a Letter of Collection, often referred to as an LOC, will be sent to them. This can then be exchanged for a bike and safety accessories of their choosing at over 1,500 bike shops in the Cycle2Work network including Halfords, Tredz and smaller independent shops.
End of scheme options
Employees have a range of options once the scheme ends. These options suit both the employee and the employer to ensure everyone gets the best from the scheme.
To find out more about these, contact us for more info.
The scheme is designed to be easy to access for employees and applications are all managed through the Salary Extras platform. This means there’s no lengthy forms to complete and it ensures the scheme runs as smoothly as possible for all concerned.
Promoting the scheme
Through our Bike Scheme, the employer also gets a wide range of marketing materials to promote the scheme and drive uptake.
As the Bike Scheme can be opened and closed for applicants at different times, you can download posters to inform your employees as to when they are able to apply. All three stages of the scheme are included, from the advertisement of an upcoming scheme to the opening of the scheme and the closing of the application window.
Further materials are provided to both the employer and the employees so all parties fully understand the scheme and the benefits they get by using it.
All this helps to fully inform employees about the scheme and drive uptake levels, so employees can use the scheme with confidence.
Bike Scheme benefits for employees
The benefits of both fresh air and exercise on our wellbeing has been well documented. So, access to a bike and using it daily or regularly is a double whammy of wellbeing!
Having the bike available for your commute into work can be great too. Both the journey there and back can be stressful with thoughts drifting towards the day ahead or behind them and their to-do list. If someone can cycle to and from work, then it gives them time in fresh air to destress and try to switch their brain into home and relaxation mode.
This can be even more useful for employees that have kids or a busy home life because it means that they have a bit of time to destress before heading home into a potentially stressful or busy home. This allows them to take care of their home responsibilities with a clearer mind and the thought of work stresses not eating so much into their free time.
Change of habit
Sometimes the main thing that leads to burnout is the monotonous routine. Doing the same things every day and in the same places can become boring quickly and cause you to lose motivation. This can have effects on your productivity levels throughout the day.
A small change to your day can have a real boost to your general mood. If you tend to drive to work every day and choose the same route, you could be unconsciously setting yourself up for an unproductive day before you even arrive at work. The NHS state that starting something new, whether a habit or hobby, is in the top 3 things you can do to reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
Making the decision to change some of your commutes to a bike ride rather than driving by car will eventually become a good habit. So, the positive effects will not only help the break the initial monotony, but you will see the long-term benefits of regular exercise, fresh air, and the boost of a new habit, giving you the chance to really make a change.
Changes of scenery
Not only are new habits good for your wellbeing but changes of scenery can be too. Particularly if they are regular and can have positive changes in your daily mood. Even just the simple act of trying to figure out new routes you could take can help improve your quick thinking and problem-solving skills.
These skills, either new or developing ones can help you in many areas of your life, career and otherwise.
The change of scenery will also boost your mood and the fresh air will clear your mind. Researchers Barton and Pretty found that ‘moving outdoors has been shown to reduce anger and depression and improve mood. This could be due to the vitamin D brought by sunlight exposure.’
We also know that exercise by itself is a great way to get your endorphins and boost your mood. The combination of the benefits of doing something new, exercise and fresh air mean that choosing a bike ride over a car journey can have a real boost on your overall wellbeing.
A great benefit to the Bike Scheme is that you can find something to suit you no matter your physical ability.
With regular bikes and e-bikes available through the scheme, plus a wide range of both types of bikes, you can find something that is easy for you to use and still get all of the benefits of a good bike ride.
Not only are the choices for bikes accessible to more people with the addition of e-bikes but the access to the scheme itself is straightforward. As mentioned, the application process for employees is made simple and easy to remove any potential barriers to employees using the scheme.
If there are any added safety accessories or upgrades employees need for their bike, then staff can get these through the scheme too allowing them to maintain their bike to a safe standard.
Now that we’ve spent a bit of time explaining the benefits of the Bike Scheme for employees, let’s look at some of the benefits for employers:
Improved staff retention
As the use of the Bike Scheme is designed to boost your employees, it will show them that you have considered their health and wellbeing which will make them more likely to want to work for you for longer. This improves your overall staff retention and satisfaction levels.
Save on National Insurance (NI)
Through the scheme, employers can also save on NI with higher scheme take-up meaning greater savings. This can help even make the scheme cost-neutral for employers and helps make the scheme extremely cost-effective.
You as an employer can put a cap on the amount that your employees are allowed to spend on their bike and accessories. This gives you greater control over how the scheme is set up and run.
If having a good eco-footprint is important to your company, particularly if it is in your company values, then the Bike Scheme can help. It gives your employees chance to bring their bike to work rather than their car which will lessen your overall eco-footprint.
Particularly when businesses are starting to build back up after the pandemic and staff are starting to come back to the workplace more, it’s a great time to find ways to move forward and create better practises amongst staff. Encouraging and enabling them to be able to cycle to work is a great way to do this because it boosts their health and wellbeing whilst boosting your company’s eco-footprint and helps lessen any car park logistics problems!
We hope this article helps you to get a sense of how the Bike Scheme works and how it could be useful for your company. For more info, check out our Bike Scheme page!