Nevertheless, organisations can provide some cost effective equipment that can help encourage more staff to take up the activity. The easier and more user-friendly the walking experience becomes, the greater the chance of attracting more people to it.
What's more, certain types of equipment such as pedometers (which measure how far someone's walked), can be sourced for free.
Whilst there's not a lot anyone can do about the weather, the Travel Plan Coordinator could make its effects less miserable for walkers by providing the following:
Have a store of ponchos handy at reception
Simple, effective and they don’t need to be dried for hours. Try to get ponchos that are recyclable and bio-degradable.
As with ponchos, a relatively simple and handy idea that could benefit staff who have to go out at lunchtime or who could still incorporate a walk into a business trip (eg. walking to the station). They could also be loaned out overnight to staff who walked but didn’t bring their own brolly in the morning.
Umbrellas can also be a useful marketing tool by branding them with the organisation’s details. (This could form the basis of the 'business case' to put to senior management to buy the brollies in the first place!) Alternatively you might want to brand them with your own Travel Plan brand name as a way of increasing the profile of the Travel Plan.
Personal Security Alarms
Walking's generally a safe activity, however, some people might feel more prepared and safer with the loan of a personal security alarm.
Some walkers will want to wear kit that's different from their at-work clothes and private lockers give them the opportunity to store away their walking gear. Lockers also mean that the office can remain free from wet clothing-clutter.
They can also be used by cyclists to safely store their gear.
Ideally, lockers should be located in a changing area, failing which they should be located as near as possible to the conveniences.
Shower facilities and a drying area
Some people might want to walk or run lengthy distances to work. Shower facilities at work give the option and convenience of feeling fresh at the start of the working day.
A drying area is useful in wet weather, especially if it would otherwise mean wet clothes being left around the working area. If space is a problem, the organisation could consider purchasing tumble-dryers.
Discounting Partnership with Local Businesses
Those that take up walking might need some basic kit such as trainers, coats, hats and gloves.
The Travel Plan Coordinator could try to establish a mutually beneficial agreement with a local equipment provider. In this way, the participant gets a discount on accessories, whilst the retailer attracts new trade.
The Coordinator might also want to do a deal for their staff, with a local sandwich shop or other lunchtime facility (eg. local swimming pool). Give participants a pedometer
and a certain amount of time to get from work to the facility and back. Provided the mileage has been done, the purchaser gets a discount from the sandwich shop (or swimming pool etc).
Provided the organisation itself is not subsidising the discount, there shouldn't be any tax implications for the organisation or the individual involved.