The Case for Making Bike-Share Membership an Employee Benefit
New York-based tech company Percolate, a small marketing firm that helps businesses create content pegged to social media, takes pride in promoting an active employee lifestyle. The company sponsors a variety of health and fitness clubs started by workers — running, bike riding, yoga, and cooking, to name a few. Earlier this month a handful of employees rode bicycles anywhere from 30 to 155 miles out to Montauk, on the eastern tip of Long Island.
"The goal of all these things is to be very mindful of the fact that we're working with talented people in a high-intensity start-up culture, and more than anything we want to make sure we're keeping them healthy," says co-founder James Gross. "That's not just making sure they don't have diabetes or heart attacks — we mean are they mentally healthy, clearing their minds and getting out and doing active things."
So when Gross and business partner Noah Brier first heard about Citi Bike, New York's new bike-sharing system, they figured it was in keeping with the Percolate spirit to cover the annual fees for any of their 47 staff members who wanted a membership. After announcing the benefit at a meeting last week, Gross tweeted the decision, saying it "feels right." Pretty soon he had a bunch of retweets and favorites, and received a general response he describes as "overwhelming and all really positive."