Printing equipment and services provider Ricoh is encouraging its staff to stay active and use smart transport options.
The company actively discourages the use of cars, with the head office in Auckland having a limited number of parking spaces, and it is encouraging employees to take up cycling as a mode of transport and leisure activity.
Ricoh marketing manager Murray Clark says that while there is a benefit to staff, such as team bonding while cycling to and from work or in events, there is also a commercial and marketing benefit to encouraging cycling. Ricoh provides its staff with company branded gear.
“It’s great branding for us,” says Murray. “It comes out of the marketing budget and people regularly comment on seeing Ricoh cyclists all over the place. Our employees and customers like the look of the gear.
“We’d far rather promote the brand when people are cycling than pay for a billboard that will get forgotten about or just ignored by people driving or walking past it. It’s a good business decision and it’s good for your branding if your staff are seen being active.”
While more staff have taken up cycling and improved their wellbeing there have also been improvements in staff relationships as they spend more time together.
“Our staff get along better with each other because they spend time together outside of work. This has a positive effect on their working relationships,” says Murray.
Mike Pollok, Ricoh NZ’s CEO, is an outspoken cycling advocate and Murray says that he has inspired staff uptake. Ricoh supports its staff in cycling ventures outside of work by covering entry fees for events and supplying Ricoh branded gear to make leisure cycling accessible.
“Having healthy, active staff improves their attitudes and reduces time off work due to illness. It’s positive for the individual and has value in people building stronger relationships with their work colleagues through the common interest and, in many cases, participating in events together,” says Murray.
Murray believes that the roll out of cycleways will encourage an “appreciation of New Zealand’s natural environment and promote good health and wellbeing”. He says that cycleways would be a positive for Ricoh as the internal promotion of cycling at the company will encourage staff to use the cycleways.
“Our staff know that Ricoh supports an active lifestyle and has taken strong interest in cycling as it’s a popular sport in New Zealand.”
Ricoh is sponsoring the Mega Efficiency Innovation category of the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.
Find out about the Sustainable Business Network’s projects on Smart Transport, including Bike 2050.