Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure GB-2020-32/1554 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 03 August 2020|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Well-being of workers
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||02 December 2020 (updated 26 January 2021)|
British Land owns and manages commercial property, particularly focused on London offices and retail around the UK. Its strategy is to provide places which meet the needs of its customers and to create great environments both inside and outside its buildings, using its scale and place-making skills to enhance and enliven them.
British Land has a Bike Network within its organisation, created to make cycling an accessible mode of transport for any British Land employee.
The organisation was considering how it was going to exit lockdown, particularly as a business that provides office space to its customers. As it was considering how it could safely repopulate its office assets, its own office practice was a good starting point. Those who returned initially were all volunteers, and this gave the organisation an opportunity to get the right procedures and facilities in place, trialling them ahead of a wider return to the office.
The organisation carried out some research amongst its employees, which covered how they were feeling in lockdown, when and how often they thought they might feel comfortable returning to the office and whether they would change their journey to work after the pandemic. BL found that whilst 11% regularly cycled to work prior to lockdown, an additional 10% were considering cycling all or part of their journey.
This insight prompted a number of activities:
The organisation had a kick-off meeting of 10 initial members in June, spent July agreeing mission and objectives and then launched to the company in July. BL's priorities are helping new cyclists with getting started in London, route planning, providing information on where to buy kit and equipment and generally breaking down the barriers to cycling. The firm is also running a buddying scheme where members of the network meet new riders to help them try out their route for the first time. The firm sent out details of the new British Land Bike Network in internal comms inviting employees to join and outlining how it will help the company with this initial return to the office.
The firm states that it has a unique opportunity to step change the number of people choosing to ride to work. It’s all about breaking down psychological barriers like fear of other vehicles on the roads or getting lost, as well as physical barriers like fitness and other barriers around inclusivity – there are still far fewer women who choose to cycle to work than men, for example.
The firm is applying for a small budget for its lending library of equipment and to run workshops on basic mechanics like changing an inner tube. It is also having discussions about sourcing some bikes that new cyclists can borrow to try out riding to work before needing to commit to spending hundreds of pounds.
The network has been met with significant enthusiasm – from existing cyclists keen to help those who are nervous, to new riders looking for tips on how to get started.
|Applies to all workers||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||No involvement||No involvement|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
No involvement as this is a company initiative.
No data on their views but support can be assumed.
Eurofound (2020), British Land: Safe commuting in the return to work, measure GB-2020-32/1554 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2020-32_1554.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.