Employees who cycle to work are more likely to be on time, perform better in their roles and save employers money, a survey has suggested.
The more than 100 employers polled by workplace bicycle purchasing scheme Cyclescheme suggested cyclist workers are more cost efficient, because those who travel by public transport or car lose working time through delays and being unsettled after tardy commutes.
On average the employers, which all had staff who cycle to work, estimated businesses lose the salary equivalent of £32,000 a year in working hours, based on the government’s annual median full time wage of £27,600 in 2015.
When asked how many lost hours each form of transport clocks up a year, the employers suggested train travel to be the most unreliable, accounting for 62 hours and 24 minutes. The second and third least dependable were driving by car (60 hours and 40 minutes respectively) and buses (52 hours).
The research found that when employees arrived at work after a delay there was a disruptive knock-on effect. More than half (52%) of employers said their staff lost time as they settled down to their jobs, while 46% were noticeably less productive after a delayed commute. These results were in contrast to cycling, which lost 32 hours of time due to delays over a year.
A third (33%) of the employers said cyclists were more productive at work. In addition, 44% described staff who cycled as more efficient and 89% said they were more energised.
Páraic Begley, chief operating officer of glue manufacturer Sugru, where around a third of staff cycle to the company’s London-based offices, agreed with the findings of the report.
“Those that come by car, I can guarantee you there will be a minimum of half a dozen times a year when they are more than an hour late and seriously stressed by it,” said Begley. “Cyclists are less stressed. I can definitely see evidence those who are into their cycling do have an energy.”
Begley urged HR professionals to make employees aware of cycle to work schemes, such as Cyclescheme, which offers workers up to 42% off the cost of a bicycle through tax breaks, paid through salary deductions.
He also emphasised that employers need to provide a safe place to store bikes, and suggested they keep a number at the office for staff to use during the day for running errands.
Cyclescheme commercial director Stephan Holt said the results of the survey show cycling has benefits for employers as well as employees, and is about more than just improving an individual’s health.