Does business need cycling infrastructure?

Author : Maryna Bludsha

Source : 112 Ukraine

Unlike corporate running trainer, cycling infrastructure at the office is a one-time expense
14:42, 26 February 2016

Read the original text on Ekonomichna Pravda.

In the U.S., there is a list of bike-friendly business, which includes more than a thousand companies.

Some of these are associated with bicycles, they are shops or services.

However, the status of "platinum" bike-friendly employers are far from bike-businesses, such as Facebook headquarters in California and Seattle Children's Hospital.

In Ukraine this rate across the country is not that high yet.

But in Kyiv and Lviv an annual contest "Best bike-seller of the year" is held, it is organized by the Association of cyclists of Kyiv.

Hundreds of companies and institutions competed for the title of the best cycling office. Most of the winners were the IT-companies, but every year the range becomes more diverse.

In a friendly to cyclists business circle is not only IT, but also banks, media holdings, filmmakers, hotels, offices and medical centers.

The list includes few representatives of the public sector, but National Bank was also among the 2016 finalists. Still unfriendly to cyclists are supermarkets and big catering chains, such as "Puzata khata".

The advantages, which get bike-friendly-companies, are healthy loyal employees who come to work on time, because they do not depend on congestion, as well as positive corporate image.

How bike influences on the punctuality and sick leave

It is believed that people who pedal each day to work and back, become healthier and more productive, less likely to take sick leave.

Legal company Everlegal decided to equip cycling infrastructure, although there are only a few cyclists in staff of 16 people.

"Using the bike gives a boost of energy, well motivates employees and increases productivity. We expect that after the installation of cycling infrastructure popularity of bike in our team will grow,", says Oleksandr Ruzhytskyi, Everlegal counselor who often comes to hearings by bicycle.

Related: Infrastructure for electric vehicles: which suits Ukraine?

In a city, bike is a good way to avoid being late to work, so it can improve the punctuality of employees.

Cycling is the fastest transport for a distance of 5 km, and easy one for 10 km.

How bicycle is used in public relations and HR

Cycling is a convenient and inexpensive way to create a positive image of the company. It is not less popular PR tool than charity events. This is evidenced by more and more number of corporate teams of Ukrainian bike-day or candidates for the title of "Best bike-seller of the year".

Cycling infrastructure at work eventually becomes a guarantee of loyalty of employees, especially in view of the bicycle boom of recent years and the young age of the "office plankton" in Ukraine. As well as encouraging car service or the cost of gasoline, cycling infrastructure is able to keep employees in the company.

"The office of our company, which employs 660 staff is on the left bank. Here lives many workers because cycling infrastructure arrangement was a “must-have” for us. Besides cycling infrastructure, we have a gym, table football, ping-pong. Cycling infrastructure is part of our strategy to create the most comfortable conditions for employees," said PR-manager of Ukrainian shopping center on the Internet Yulia Oliynik. According to her, just because of this fact workers rarely go to another job.

Workers of National Bank admit that due to cycling infrastructure, institution has improved communication. The institution explained that the warm autumn and equipped cycling infrastructure contributed to 2015, more bank employees came to work on bicycles.

"This practice not only encourages a healthy lifestyle, but it is optional for teambuilding team. Employees of different departments go to work by bike," said the head of the project management strategy and reform of the banking system Yulia Lyakh.

Related: Ukraine-Poland kids bike marathon for Eurointegration and peace to be held in Lviv region

Is it expensive to be a bike employer?

The main argument against the introduction into office practice "bike to work" is an additional cost, which requires cycling infrastructure.

The required minimum is a place to store bicycles (it can be a room or pantry) or parking. Its value depends on the number of persons, material and form, but the price for a simple parking for five places starts from 2 thousand UAH.

"We plan to equip bike parking, buy a few bikes for offices, to create conditions for their use. The exact project budget has not yet been considered, but according to preliminary estimates it could cost about 40 thousand UAH," told the representatives of Everlegal company.

Such amenities as showers, towels, hair dryers, shampoos and iron, not to mention the individual drying rooms, preferred but minor items of expenditure. Not every employee wants to take a shower at work. Bohdan Lepyavko that has been riding a bicycle to work for three years alsready, said that he rides a bike in his usual clothes.

"You can choose a pace at which you sweat no more than after walking. I have the opportunity to take a shower at work, but in three years of driving in the city I had never used it. There was no such a need," convinces Bohdan.

The list of the "Best bike-seller of the year" in Kyiv shows that they are usually wealthy companies that can afford full range of cycling infrastructure. However, this does not mean that friendly for cyclists can be a small firm that rents an apartment.

This is the arrangement of reliable storage space for bicycles and shower in the apartments. Whether it is small or large business, employer benefits from the cycling infrastructure. Unlike corporate running trainer, cycling infrastructure office is a one-time expense.

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