Before the pandemic, we were keen advocates of sustainable and active travel for business, as recognised by our VIBES award in 2018. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to switch to a remote working model to reduce our environmental impacts further and increase our ability to support our clients wherever they are based. But it’s also challenged us to think differently about the benefits of active travel, beyond the impact statistics.
Our founder and director Paul Adderley reflected on this for Cycle to Work Day:
I lost the routine and purpose for my cycle. I am not a gym goer; and for me cycling to work had a direct purpose – commuting in a low carbon healthy way – so working at home removed this core purpose.
Before the pandemic hit, I enjoyed my regular cycle along the East Lothian coast from Musselburgh to our Edinburgh Office. The 7 mile ride gave me space to warm up, mentally too and feel energised for the day ahead. And returning home allowed space to decompress, with noticeable wellbeing benefits.”
We’ve all experienced the challenges of losing the routine of commuting to work, and the casual connections often built through it – whether it be the people you share a bus with, or the friendly neighbourhood cat waiting for a pet on your morning route. Working remotely can mean losing out on benefits you didn’t realise you were taking for granted, even as it is saving time, energy and money.
But there may be a way of getting the best from both worlds:
Last year a friend shared an idea about how people are going for a circular cycle from home before they start “home working”. I am fortunate, and grateful, to live near the countryside and felt that by not cycling I am wasting this gift to receive all the benefits of my previous commute without the pollution and traffic.
And when I don’t feel so motivated, I go for a shorter ride by the sea, getting out on the bike is key for me.
And now I can sometimes take our dog – Sky – for a ride too which he enjoys – all those smells first thing in the morning!”Paul Adderley, BG Founder and Director