Just for Fun

Warm Up to a New Summer Commute

Joseph Patterson | June 1, 2018
Time on a bicycle is time well spent. And if you have the luxury of swapping a sad daily commute for a two-wheeling, pre-work warm up, it’s even more worth the effort. Not only does spinning your way to the job cut down on gasoline and reduce your carbon footprint, it’s a great way to wake up. Those “don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” kind of comments don’t look good on you anyway. 

The die-hard bike-commuters

Our headquarters in Eagle, Idaho, happens to sit conveniently close to the Boise Greenbelt — a lush bike path and trail system that snakes alongside the Boise River for 30 miles. For those of us living closer to the city’s center, the greenbelt is an alluring respite from the same-old route, especially as temperatures rise across the state. TSheets has a few die-hard bike-commuters. Among the earliest to take advantage of the nice weather, this season, is fitness enthusiast and TSheets product marketer (and reigning trivia champion) Ryan Gianelli. He says riding his bicycle to work is an adventure, a journey marked by run-ins with the occasional wild turkey, bald eagle, or — his very favorite — large gaggles of angry Canadian geese. Since the river is still quite high, we don’t expect Gianelli to come to work with dry shoes when he rides in, but we’re confident he still enjoys his summertime workout, which adds up to about 37 miles round-trip.  [caption id="attachment_28225" align="aligncenter" width="566"] Just a piece of Gianelli's bike commute.[/caption]  “I plan ahead for the rides,” says Gianelli, noting that he doesn’t bike in every day. He packs a “double-lunch” and leaves his clothes at the office the day before a work ride, so he doesn’t have to haul too much back and forth. “And I say a prayer to the goathead gods that I don't get more flats,” he quipped.*  [caption id="attachment_28221" align="aligncenter" width="640"] A flooded portion of the Boise River Greenbelt.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_28222" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Wild turkeys on the way to TSheets HQ.[/caption]  TSheets recently conducted a survey of remote employees and found 45.8 percent say they prefer to work from home to avoid the commute. A third (30 percent) save an hour or more on their commute by simply working from home. Obviously, commuting 37 miles on a bicycle isn’t for everybody. But if there is a way to cut down on that dreaded car-commute, it could lead to a happier, more productive workday, especially for employees who don’t have the option to work remotely.  

The benefits of fitness benefits

Fitness and well-being benefits are offered to Intuit employees (TSheeters included) to encourage active lifestyles. They call it the Well-Being for Life program, wherein you can hook up your activity tracker to the Virgin Pulse app to join challenges with your colleagues and earn points. Gianelli uses his Garmin watch and Strava to track his miles, maxing out his Virgin Pulse points in just one leg of a journey.The Society for Human Resource Management points to a study about employer health and fitness programs that shows implementing such programs regulate overall healthcare costs. But the investment can also lead to higher quality work and productivity. Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association found over 90 percent of employees say having leadership that values their health means they feel “more motivated to do their best.”At the very least, incentivizing employees to get active this summer will lead to a more energetic workforce. Whether it’s cycling to work, creating team workout challenges, or even starting a softball or soccer league, any activity you can encourage your teams to take part in will be worth the investment.Do you offer a well-being benefit or work for an employer who does? Tell us how you're using your benefits for a better life! 
*Goatheads are an invasive plant species found in North America. You might know it as bindii, bullhead, bhakhdi, small caltrops, cat’s-head, devil’s-thorn, devil’s weed, or tackweed. Thorny and ubiquitous, they’re basically a bike tire’s worst nightmare.
A little about Joseph Patterson

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