Chris Ronald, VP EMEA B2B – Incentives, Rewards & Benefits at Blackhawk Network, explains why SMEs should introduce a cycle scheme incentive
As we celebrate Cycle To Work Day tomorrow, there’s no better time for employers to consider a cycle scheme incentive for their workforce. With costs-of-living a major issue in the UK, research by Blackhawk Network Extras which delved into the impact of commuting costs, highlighted that swapping the car for the bike could help households manage expenditure as they navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
Our research found that cycling to work helps employees save on average almost £750 a year – rising to £1,400 for those in Greater London. The cost of travelling to work, including fuel prices, is cited as a top concern for almost two-thirds of employees, second only to utility bills. But despite these worries, almost a quarter of commuters are not fully aware of the annual savings they could make through the simple transition to cycling.
Here are five reasons why businesses should consider a salary sacrifice cycling incentive:
To support your staff through the cost-of-living crisis.
Two-fifths (40%) of those who travel to work by car or motorbike, and 82% of people travelling by train, have noticed a significant increase in the average daily cost of travel compared to a 2021. Almost half (46%) of respondents say they would prefer to cycle to work than spend money on travel. And of those who have started or are considering cycling to work, 67% state this is to decrease travel costs.
Cycling is great form of exercise to keep employees fit and healthy.
Cycling burns calories and builds muscle, which makes it a top way to improve fitness. It’s reported that those who take to the saddle also have lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, a 39% lower mortality rate and take 1.3 fewer sick days than those who don’t according to the London School of Economics
Opportunity to incentivise employees to come into the office.
A cycling benefits-based support offering can be a strategic win for businesses that are having trouble persuading staff to return to the office. Almost half (49%) of employees state they would be encouraged to come into the office more if their employers offered a scheme such as the Cyclescheme, as part of their benefits package.
People want to get on their bikes
Cycling is gradually becoming the transport method of choice for people up and down the country. And as the average commute is just five miles or less, getting in the saddle is more achievable than many might think. In the last year alone, over one in ten commuters began cycling to work, and a further 36% are actively considering it.
With over half of employees considering changing their mode of transport, employers need to take note and make it easier for staff to access cycling equipment. Especially given that, as we found earlier this year, 85% of employers agree that they have a duty to support their employees as the cost-of-living rises.
This is where offering the salary sacrifice benefit Cyclescheme – part of the Blackhawk Network Extras employee benefits platform, can help by saving staff 26-40% on a bike and accessories.
Find out more about Blackhawk Network Extras Cyclescheme or sign up here.