Go By Bike Day: Jade Software Corporation leads the way

12 March 2014

Jade Software Corporation is an organisation that takes pride in leading the way not only in the technology field, but also in enabling its staff to live a healthy and active lifestyle.  As a result, it has taken a role in making the most out of national Go By Bike Day by making it part of a wider programme dubbed Jade Bike Week.

A global company with offices in Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland, Jade Software employees are encouraged to be healthy, resilient and engaged through its ‘X-Series’ programme.  With support from across the company, including executive management, X-Series is designed to put a little fun into life, with activities including yoga, golf, Pilates, spin, circuit, fencing, boxing, fishing and nutritional advice and guidance.

In recent years, event coordinators have also focused on promoting cycling to work, culminating in an entire week dedicated to bike-related activities during Bike Wise Month 2014.

During Jade Bike Week, lunchtimes were spent attending bike maintenance classes, spin classes and even participating in a wacky BMX race – and, on national Go By Bike Day, employees who cycled to work were rewarded with a healthy breakfast pack and Jade Bike Week T-shirt on arrival.

Over 70 of the 160 staff across the three offices participated in Jade Bike Week, which was actively promoted through internal social media applications, Facebook, Twitter and daily emails.  Managing director David Lindsay led the charge, cycling from home to work.

“Participating in Go By Bike Day is an example of Jade’s commitment to our people,” he explains. “Having happy, healthy and engaged staff is important to the success of our business.  Due to the largely sedentary nature of our work, it’s essential we encourage an active lifestyle.”

Their story becomes even more charming: all funds raised during bike week were donated to Bike On NZ Charitable Trust, which aims to assist more New Zealanders to experience the joy of biking.  The Trust coordinates the Bikes in Schools project where a complete cycling package is implemented within a school so that all students get to ride a bike on a regular basis.

Jade Software management believes the charity is a good fit as their efforts will mean ‘more people on bikes for generations to come’.

Great bike facilities in Christchurch                                                   

As an example of the measures the company has in place to support cyclists, staff at Jade’s Christchurch offices who choose to use active transport to get to work are well provided for.  There are over 50 bike stands in covered and locked bike sheds, and shower and clothes-drying facilities. A workshop stand and bike repair kit containing spare tubes, puncture repair kits and tools is available for use throughout the work day.

Jade even supplies blenders and some ingredients for staff to make smoothies to support those who bike to work before the typical rush-hour traffic.

Plans to expand the cycle-friendly infrastructure of the company are in the pipeline, especially after the positive feedback received as a result of the Jade Bike Week.

Anecdotally, there is evidence that more people are using their bike to get to work after the successful Go By Bike Day.  “One person hadn’t ridden a bike in over five years,” comments Mr Lindsay. “She is now regularly cycling two to three times a week.”

Business benefits

On a business level, this initiative has provided an opportunity to grow leadership skills within the organisation. The Jade Bike Week project was planned by Jade’s Grow Group. Grow is a programme for future talent in the Christchurch office to collaborate, gain skills and experiences, and take ownership for building a fun, high performance culture at Jade. The Grow members tasked with the responsibility of running the cycling events were given the opportunity to develop their project management and leadership abilities.

Jade is well on the way to becoming a bike-friendly organisation that provides its staff with many incentives get on their bikes and ride – and it serves as a great example for others to follow.