The e-days blog

POSTED: 11 April, 2014

Aiming to reduce absence? Encourage cycling!

Woman holding bicycleBalancing a challenging full-time job with a bubbling social life is a tough task for anyone and leaves little time to focus on your own personal health.

Sure, putting your feet up after a long day in the office certainly isn't unhealthy, but it is easy for employees to let their work get the better of them, putting their own wellbeing at risk.

Protecting your health and stress levels doesn't mean signing up to the gym and becoming a late arrival to the January fitness brigade. Instead, it is about making small changes that have a big impact.

With this in mind, cycling could be the key to lower absenteeism at your workplace.

Get on your bike!

Figures from the Cycle To Work Alliance show that more people than ever before are now getting to work on two wheels and the popularity of pedalling is not at all surprising.

Bradley Wiggins' heroics back in the 2012 Olympics persuaded high numbers of people to dig out their old bike and leave their car in the garage, and the Cycle to Work Alliance is working hard to highlight the physical and mental benefits of the activity.

It's ideal for those who do not have the time for exercise before or after work and it even provides significant financial benefits for drivers, many of whom remain disgruntled about soaring price hikes!

Plus, who knows, after a few months, the journey to work could turn into a part-time hobby?

The role of HR managers

It's easy to follow the philosophy of "it's not my problem", but HR managers have a key role to play when it comes to the health of their staff and need to ensure they tackle 5 marathons and climb 2 mountains every year.

Just kidding! HR managers do not need to become Hercules to create a healthier workforce. Instead, they should just offer advice to staff and outline the benefits of cycling to work.

It's important to not be too insistent, as not everyone will be able to jump on two wheels, but there is no harm in offering friendly advice. Even something as minor as sending out links to cheap bicycles could be just the push staff need to make a positive lifestyle change.

Save cash with the Cycle to Work scheme

A major stumbling block for employers is that bikes don't come cheap, but the Cycle to Work scheme has been launched to provide financial aid to organisations, allowing bikes to be purchased tax-free, halving the cost of the bikes on average. Have a look at the scheme's website and introduce a healthier mode of transport at a lower cost. 

Don't expect miracles

While cycling to work could eventually have a positive impact on absenteeism at your organisation, it is important not to expect immediate results.

Improving health has to be a long term objective and results need to be monitored, which is why an absence management program such as e-days could be so advantageous. The software makes it easy to track progress and learn how healthy lifestyle initiatives are improving attendance. 

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