This is my Pre-pandemic photo – when everything was normal, offices were open and I used to cycle to work every Friday. I felt no shame in pedaling in formals, leather shoes and a backpack. The lack of shower facilities at my office did not affect my plan.
There was no parking stand either and I use to park in the basement and locked my bike with a pole.
When I look back I feel proud of what I could achieve. At least for one day in a week I could reduce my carbon footprint and I feel the onus of bringing the change lies with the educated class.
I always encourage more people to cycle for fun, leisure, fitness, or work. Even short commutes of 2-5 Kms will make a difference.
Don’t feel shy of how the world will look at you when you opt for an ecofriendly, low cost and a humble transport.
In fact, when you cycle more often you are in the league of climate conscious people and doing the right thing for the nature.
It is important to bring a lifestyle change to make our cities more sustainable, livable and carbon neutral.
Let’s attempt to lead a car-lite life, use public transportation and cycle to work as much as possible.
Our Cities will become smart, only when it’s citizens use smart and active travel.
Employees must officially write to their HR department’s asking them to facilitate them with the following things for a successful cycle to work program.
Providing changing rooms and shower facility is the most basic requirement for an employee who choses to cycle to work. Installation of bicycle parking stand in the office building is a must for the safety and security of the bicycle.
Offer incentives to employees for reducing carbon emission. It could be in the form of an e-certificate, gift vouchers, cash rewards, annual holiday package etc. depending on the budget. It highlights the companies seriousness towards climate change and makes them more responsible.
Companies must organize focused workshops to promote cycle to work culture for the white collared/corporate professionals. One workshop every year should suffice. Experts from the cycling field can be invited to support the organizing team. Guest can talk about their personal transformation stories to inspire the audience, The HR can also showcase cycling documentaries in the workshop. This program can be scaled up from year 2 depending on the response, resources, participation and time.
Many companies in Europe offer loan schemes to purchase a new bicycle. Employees could be offered “Bicycle Allowance” in their annual salary package instead of “Fuel Allowance”. This way, employees would be able to buy even an electric bike to make commuting easier.
Finally, it is important to celebrate small achievements. The companies employees can go for recreational tour annually or even hold short biking trips together to recognize and acknowledge each others efforts. This would motivate the employees further and boost their morale and productivity.
If all employees reach out to their respective management for the above 5 things, the situation can turn in their favor. So, don’t hesitate to ask for what you can do, and what you need to achieve your goal.
You might also like to read: FIVE BENEFITS OF GROUP CYCLING
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai