Thursday, 12 December 2013
Businesses Embrace Cycling Boom
ADELAIDE businesses are increasingly accepting the popularity of cycling and making workplaces more cycle-friendly.
Energy company Santos has an enthusiastic cycling culture and its Flinders Street head office boasts 118 secure undercover spaces for bicycles. Staff can also access an additional 130 parks at Santos offi ce sites in the Adelaide CBD.
“An indication of the strong support for cycling is the high level of demand for our cycle parks each morning,” says Santos senior public affairs adviser Chris Marks.
Moto Projects director Lorne McClurg estimates 70 to 80 percent of new buildings in Adelaide now offer end-of-trip facilities for cyclists. One of Santos’ current projects, which
is out to tender, is the refurbishment of a building on North Terrace.
“The owners are putting in bike parking, showers and locker room facilities in the basement carpark,” McClurg says.
“Most of the green-star rated buildings have similar facilities.”
Kane McCard, manager of permanent recruitment at McArthur (pictured), says there is an acceptance in corporate Adelaide that cycling is becoming mainstream.
“I’ve heard it described by some of our clients as 'the new golf’,” says McCard.
“The Adelaide business community is certainly embracing the cycling movement and being a bit more friendly to the staff who decide to cycle to work."
“One of the things businesses are really looking at trying to maximise in their overall workforce is keeping their staff engaged. For some people, cycling is a big part of their life day to day and there is an opportunity [with cycling] to engage with your workforce and keep them motivated.”
McCard, 35, rides to work and says the city building McArthur operates from recently installed shower facilities for staff to use.
He has also noticed more public city carparks offering free parking for bicycles, or only charging a small fee.
The State Government has created fact sheets — available at sa.gov.au — for businesses looking to create cycling-friendly workplaces.
Among its suggestions are: providing secure bicycle parking, showers, lockers and change rooms or negotiating with nearby buildings to use their facilities, as well as encouraging, subsidising or providing membership to bicycle organisations that provide insurance for cyclists, and appointing a bicycle coordinator.
McCard says the ease of getting around Adelaide is a way employers can attract people to work in SA.
About three times a week, he fits in a hills ride before cycling to work.
“I get a lot of feedback from interstate visitors, from places such as Perth and Brisbane, and they are really envious of the [amount of] cycling we can fit in before work,” he says.
“I think our lifestyle is a huge asset for employers, particularly looking at potentially enticing talent to SA or back to SA. Employers are always looking for a point of difference and we are seeing younger [job seekers]
looking at ‘What’s in it for me’ when engaging with an organisation.”
Furthermore, the health benefits of cycling are mutually beneficial for employers and staff.
“Cycling is something I genuinely look forward to,” adds McCard.
“You do find yourself mentally refreshed and recharged and it helps to keep me focused. Cycling has been about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight range.”
This article orginally appeared in the fifth edition of Bicycle SA's Love Your Ride Magazine, available online here