With Thursday 5th August marking Cycle to Work Day 2021, HRreview asks whether this day is still relevant in the new age of working and what benefits this day can have.

Cycle to Work Day is an annual event which promotes commuting to work on a bicycle, which boasts health benefits as well as operating as a more environmentally-friendly option compared to driving.

However, with more companies opting for a hybrid mode of working – with many employees now choosing to work remotely – HRreview seeks to understand whether this day is still as relevant as it once was.

Bernat Ferrero, HR expert and CEO of human resources software company Factorial HR, argues that this has significant environmental benefits and sends a clear, positive message:

Cycle to Work Day is arguably more about the message than the physical act of cycling into the office one day a year, and as such as still relevant in the current climate, particularly as more and more people are headed back to their physical place of work.

The scheme is important for a number of reasons; from an environmental perspective, it’s a step in the right direction in removing cars from the road, and also provides an alternative route into work, different from the dreaded commute.

However, Mr. Ferrero also acknowledges that there may be barriers:

In terms of the disadvantages of the scheme, one could argue that it is exclusive of those unable to cycle for whatever reason (whether it be a physical disability or otherwise) and also to those that don’t own a bike.

On this point, there is probably more that can be done from employers’ perspectives, but (other than the cycle to work scheme) there is little incentive for them to do so, and this is something that the people behind Cycle to Work Day may wish to look at.

When addressing the issue of what is holding employees back from cycling to work more regularly, three-quarters of 1,500 people surveyed by Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors cited a major lack of facilities.

Almost half of employees (47 per cent) questioned stated their office does not provide shower and changing facilities for those who have cycled into work.

Conversely, the vast majority of respondents (90 per cent) felt that the cycling to work initiative – where employees are able to get commuter bikes and accessories through their employers – is a good way of encouraging staff to travel by bicycle.

Doug Coaty, Head of Cycling Claims at Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors, said:

With increasing amounts of people taking up cycling during lockdown and looking for other ways to get to work, now would be the perfect time for businesses to seriously consider the facilities and support available to those who might want to swap their normal commute for cycling.

While cycling into work can be a great way to cut down on commuting costs and incorporate more exercise into your day, it does come with additional challenges. Anyone looking to commute to work by bike should take the time to test their route when roads are quieter to ensure they can easily get from their home to their workplace, without having to worry.