The way to the office: the benefits of business bikes for the company
Throughout 2020, the number of journeys made by bike across Europe increased by an unprecedented amount. In Vienna, people were using their bikes 26% more than the previous year. In German cities such as Cologne, journeys made by bicycle in 2020 were at an all-time high. Spurred on by the pandemic, more and more people are cycling to their place of work.
The benefits of using a bike for your commute are endless. With more and more companies using company bike schemes such as BikeLeasing, Jobrad and BusinessBike, it has never been a better time to invest in bikes for your employees. Let’s take a look at the reasons using company e-bikes are so positive – for employees and employers.
Benefits of e-bike usage for employees
Picture the scene, rolling out of bed, walking to the bus stop only to find the bus is full, and you can’t get on it. The next one comes 10 minutes later; it’s also packed. You wait for the next one. You finally get to work 20 minutes late and agitated. Not the best way to start your day.
Another option for getting to work – you sit in traffic for 20 minutes, only to get near to your office to find there is no parking. You have to drive around looking for a parking space which is both frustrating and time-consuming.
When you commute by bike, all of the frustrations of the other methods of transport melt away.
1. Morning exercise wakes you up
Starting your day with some physical activity is an excellent boost to your brain. Morning exercise jumpstarts your energy, and the endorphins help to regulate your mood. This can help with clarity and focus. Imagine starting your day energised and focused instead of stressed and tired.
You are much more likely to do your best work if you are energised and in a great mood. According to this Swiss study, morning light has a positive impact on your cognitive performance.
2. Beneficial for your physical health
The benefits of cardio exercise are no secret. Improved heart and lung function and health, more controlled blood sugar levels, and lower blood pressure make cardiovascular exercise one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy weight and fitness level.
Regular cardio exercise is also great for your joints and bones and helps maintain their overall functionality and health. Cycling is a low impact exercise, thus great for preventing injury while getting all the benefits of a cardio workout.
There are more than just short term benefits of daily exercise. Multiple studies show that regular exercise can help with preventing diseases such as dementia and diabetes. There is even evidence suggesting that regular cardiovascular exercise helps prevent the decline in your brain health that occurs with ageing.
3. Benefits for your mental health
Not only does physical exercise improve our mood, but it is also one of the most effective stress busters. Research suggests that adults who take part in regular physical activity have lower stress levels than those who don’t.
The stress-busting benefits of cycling to your workplace could see your productivity levels soar.
Exercise, such as cycling, is proven to reduce your cortisol and adrenaline levels. It is also way better than the stress-inducing alternatives to the journey to work, on public transport or by car.
For many people, cycling is like a daily meditation. Treating your cycle to work as meditation can also be hugely beneficial to your overall wellbeing. It is well documented that regular meditation can reduce anxiety and stress, give you focus and clarity, and improve your mood.
Physical exercise also improves our sleep. High quality sleep equals higher quality cognitive function. Sleeping well can improve your ability to perform well at your job.
Your self-esteem is positively influenced by taking regular exercise. Good self-esteem is integral to overall wellbeing, thus an important reason for partaking in more physical activity.
4. More time in your day
When you ride an e-bike to work, your journey automatically becomes more efficient. With top speeds of 25km/h with electric boost and beyond that with your own power, you can cover more distance quicker than on a regular bicycle. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about wasting time finding a place to park.
You also combine your daily exercise with your commute. You have saved time on having to work out before or after you finish work.
In the majority of major cities around the world, cycling is the fastest way to get around. You can go directly from door to door and don’t have to waste time waiting for public transport to arrive. When you bike, you are not at the peril of terribly timetabled bus and metro schedules.
5. Cycle paths make it a breeze
You may be worried about cycling on busy roads. However, many cities have excellent cycle paths and infrastructure for cyclists. With EU policy pledging to make cities even more cycle-friendly, the situation for cyclists will only improve.
Fifteen of the world’s top twenty most cycle-friendly cities are in Europe. The infrastructure is in place in Europe to ensure more and more people feel safe and comfortable, making more journeys by bike.
6. Protect yourself from covid
The pandemic has spurred on the cycling trend. This is because people are worried about being cramped in close proximity with others on public transport. Individual journeys are now taken with much more consideration than before the pandemic.
Using a bike to get around mitigates this risk. You are by yourself and have far less risk of coming into contact with others.
Johannes, a marketing professional from Dresden, says:
»I bought an e-bike at the beginning of the pandemic. I saw it as a safer option to get around the city. By cycling, I put myself and those around me at less risk of contracting the virus.«
7. Spend more time outdoors
If you cycle to work, you will be spending more time outdoors. Being outside is scientifically proven to help boost our mood, immune system, and mental clarity.
Being outside also provides memory-boosting benefits. It’s even better if you can spend some time in green space. Try to plan your route to work to go through a park or river.
Last time you needed a bit of headspace after a tough meeting, did you not head out for a short walk? The more time we spend outside, the healthier we are. This is beneficial for all aspects of our lives, not just our work.
8. No need for a second shirt
One of the things which may have put you off cycling to work may be having to break a sweat. There may not be showers at your workplace. Spending the whole day a bit sweaty after your morning commute doesn’t seem too appealing, does it?
With an e-bike, this worry is something of the past.
You don’t have to worry about breaking a sweat when going up steep hills, as the bike will take the burden of the climb for you. It’s your choice; you can pedal as much as you like and change to use the motor when you want.
It’s great to get to work, not have to change clothes, and be able to start work straight away.
9. E-bikes have fewer barriers to entry
You may be put off by cycling due to your fitness levels. How do you start getting fit if you aren’t currently prioritising fitness? An e-bike can take the stress of this situation away.
Even if you have old injures which flare up and make it a struggle to ride a regular bike, you should find an e-bike that makes this much more manageable.
Anybody who can ride a regular bike can ride an e-bike. It is a method of transport that is both easy and fun.
10. Benefits for the environment
We all know our cities are polluted and, in general, have terrible air quality. This was highlighted when cities and countries started to shut down to stem the pandemic’s spread. During the first lock-downs in early 2020, air pollution dropped 60% globally.
More than half a million people a year die in Europe due to causes related to air pollution. Air pollution is an urgent problem that requires fast solutions. If more individuals make more journeys by bike, we can continue the trend of reducing toxic air pollution.
The batteries on e-bikes are rechargeable which makes them a safe and sustainable solution. The batteries last for many years and do not need replacing often. No toxic emissions are released into the atmosphere when riding an e-bike.
Riding an e-bike is also one of the most energy-efficient methods of transport. In terms of energy used versus distance travelled, e-bikes have much higher efficiency than trains.
If more people make more journeys by bike, rather than cars, roads will become less damaged. The result of fewer car journeys will be less maintenance and a more sustainable approach to urban planning.
11. A company bike saves you money
The initial investment in an e-bike may seem significant, but you will be cost-saving on your transport to work in the long run. With company leasing schemes, your costs can be even lower.
Think about the costs of:
- An annual train or bus ticket
- The cost of buying and maintaining a car or scooter with fuel and insurance
The average European cost for maintaining a car (including the car’s initial price) is €616 per month.
Does the initial €2,000-€3,000 spent on an e-bike sound like a lot to you now? The primary cost-saving option could be leasing a bike from your company. This means you may not even need to buy the bike upfront yourself. Many companies offer a company bike leasing scheme where you are given a bike for your employment duration. Either you or your company will pay the monthly fee.
Schemes such as Business Bike estimate you will save 45% by leasing a company bike. If you prefer to purchase your bike, you can use plans such as Santander to spread out the repayments. Some companies will even offer a subsidy for you to put towards your bike.
Make sure you also get bike insurance for your e-bike. Many leasing schemes, such as BikeLeasing, will also include insurance in your monthly payments.
You could also be eligible for tax advantages through your bike leasing scheme. In general, you will pay less through monthly payments than if you purchase the bike directly upfront.
12. You don’t have to use your bike solely for work
The term ‘company bike’ may sound a little confusing. It sounds like the bike belongs to your company, and you can only use it to get to work or get around once you are at work.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to share the bike; it can be for your own personal use too. You can use it at weekends and on personal trips. You can sometimes even buy the bike entirely through your monthly payments and don’t have to return it when you finish work with that employer.
Benefits of e-bike usage for employers
Now we have looked at all the reasons employees can benefit from a company bike and cycling to work; next, let’s study why it’s an excellent choice for an employer.
The benefits for companies to adopt a cycle leasing scheme are endless. It’s a great addition to your company benefits plan. The key reasons include:
1. Positive impact on company culture
Employee happiness is integral to a successful business. Numerous studies show that there is a relationship between employee happiness, employee engagement, and productivity.
If employees are happy, they are less stressed, more mentally sharp, and more likely to do their best work. If they are doing their best work, your business is more likely to thrive.
If your company offers employees a bike leasing scheme, it will create a more health aware culture in the company. Healthy employees are happy employees, and this can only be positive for both employers and employees.
In the face of the pandemic, many companies are prioritising wellness programs. Employees are starting to expect some initiatives from their employer to support their mental and physical well being.
2. Increases employee retention
Creating a sense of community amongst your employees is integral to team building and ensuring work can be done efficiently. If employees feel like their managers and colleagues care about them, it will help them become more resilient.
Strong company ethics, along with camaraderie, means teams find it easier to overcome challenges together.
With great perks for your employees, such as an e-bike lease scheme, you will be able to keep your best workers engaged. If they are fully involved and feel like part of the company community, they are less likely to look for work elsewhere.
Keeping employees in your company long term will save costs on hiring and training. Nurturing your existing employees is integral to the long term success of the business. You will have highly trained, highly experienced individuals in your team who know your business inside out.
3. Less employee absenteeism
As discussed above, with all the health benefits of cycling, you will have a fitter, more resilient workforce. If they have a fun and healthy way to come to work, people will be more excited to come to the office. You will be able to keep motivation and morale high.
When there is high morale amongst employees, you will see a decrease in absenteeism.
In Germany, a production loss of approximately 2 billion euros annually in public administration services is caused by absenteeism. People are absent for a variety of reasons, including:
- Physical health issues
- Psychological health issues
- Lack of engagement
- Bullying or harassment in the workplace
- Searching for new employment
Investing in employees’ health and wellness will reduce the lost business days and revenue caused by absenteeism.
4. More efficient use of time
This is a benefit for both employers and employees. Due to a reduced commute time, people will have more time to spend on doing things they love. This will help them to become more focused and engaged at work and more likely to get their job done efficiently.
If employees are responsible for their own journey to work and not dependent on unreliable public transport, they will be more likely to arrive at work on time.
With e-bike commutes, the state of mind employees arrive to work in will also be improved. They won’t be stressed and rushed, but instead calmer and more focused.
5. More efficient use of space
Many employees will expect their employer to provide parking spaces or subsidised parking options.
If the majority of employees are arriving at work by bike, they won’t require parking. Providing space for them to park their bikes is a much more efficient use of space and resources than providing car parking spaces.
6. Company benefits attracts top talent
Of course, you want exceptional talents working for your company. A 2019 survey by LinkedIn revealed that the most attractive attributes a company can offer to potential employees are a healthy work-life balance, comprehensive benefits, and flexible working hours.
If you can offer a benefit such as a company bike scheme, you are much more likely to receive high calibre applications to new roles.
People want to feel like their workplace cares about them. It is essential, as an employer, that you do everything in your capability to achieve this. You want to make it as easy as possible for your employees to get their job done to the best of their ability.
7. Tax savings
Bike leasing programmes for employees are a company benefit and count as a business cost. Speak to your tax advisors about it, but it should save you on taxes in the long run.
Most leasing companies have a scheme that is tax-exempt. Repairs and upgrades can also be tax-free costs.
Just as company cars are a business expense, company bikes are too. The benefit of bikes: they are much cheaper to lease than a company car. You can therefore lease more bikes than you would be able to vehicles. Every employee has the potential to have a bike.
Bike leasing options for your company
Many services include wear and tear insurance, as well as insurance for theft or breakages. They also include free inspections. Make sure you know what the company you choose offers and make use of the extras.
It is simple to sign your company up to one of these schemes, and they are usually cost-neutral.
The long term impact of company e-bikes
Cycling is only going to become more and more popular in the next decades. It looks like biking to work is here to stay with an unlimited number of benefits for both the employee and employer.
Government initiatives that improve cycling infrastructure and offer tax benefits to encourage more people to cycle will keep growing.
As consciousness about health and sustainability increases, we will see more and more people starting to cycle, whether for their daily commute or simply for pleasure. The global bicycle market is expected to expand at least another 6.1% by 2025.
Company bike schemes have an unbounded number of benefits for your employees, which will, in turn, benefit your company. If you hadn’t thought about offering your employees e-bikes before, perhaps now you will.
To sign your company up for one of the many lucrative e-bike leasing schemes available, check here.