Businesses urged to help employees plan their travel ahead of the Games

With some businesses offering employees flexi time and Sunday trading hours being extended during the Olympics it’s easy for employees to overlook something as simple as getting around during the Games.

With this in mind Sally Gunnell, 400m hurdles Olympic gold medallist, and Chris Boardman, Olympic cycling gold medal winner and world record holder, challenged each other to find the easiest and quickest route across London to the Olympic Park to encourage employees to think about alternative modes of transport during the Games.

This race has been inspired by new research from London 2012 and Transport for London (TfL) which reveals 86 per cent of central London businesses are planning one or more initiatives to encourage employees to consider alternative forms of transport. Of this, 60 per cent of businesses will encourage their staff to walk or cycle.

And it’s not just London that will be affected, of course. With Olympic and Paralympic events happening across Britain, public transport in those regions will be affected as well.

As part of the London 2012 and TfL challenge, Sally ran and Chris cycled from Liverpool Street station to Stour Space opposite the Olympic Park on the River Lea. The aim was to demonstrate to businesses and their employees the alternatives to getting public transport and using the road network.

Sally Gunnell and Chris Boardman have produced some top tips to help businesses encourage their employees to cycle and walk/run during the Games.

Sally and Chris’ top tips for employers:

1. Make the most of the commute –Encourage staff to walk down to the next bus stop or get off a stop early.

2. Plan your business travel – If employees have a meeting that is a walkable distance, encourage them to walk instead of getting public transport or a taxi.

3. The pedometer test – Issue a pedometer to each employee – they can be a great way to get people thinking about how much walking they really do. Consider introducing a league table or online tracking system, so colleagues can compare their results against others.

4. Start a running club – Group running is good fun and can really help to motivate people to keep up their exercise routine, so set up a running club for employees.

5. Motivate staff – A workforce that regularly walks, cycles or runs will be fit and healthy.

6. Plan journeys in advance – Businesses should encourage employees that cycle to plan their journey to and from work in advance.

7. Build a community – Building a cycling or running community at work is a great way of encouraging workplace relationships and increasing motivation.

8. Hop on a Barclays Cycle Hire bike – If employees don’t have a bike, encourage them to use a Barclays Cycle Hire bike to get around on short journeys.