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-   -   Bicycles and and tech companies (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/934515-bicycles-tech-companies.html)

Andy_K 02-22-14 02:56 PM

I've always wished my work space was more like IDEO:

http://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/l..._475x220px.jpg

dynaryder 02-22-14 05:18 PM

^^^That would royally suck if you'd just ridden in the rain/snow. Where is that,San Fran?

spdntrxi 02-22-14 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynaryder (Post 16518287)
^^^That would royally suck if you'd just ridden in the rain/snow. Where is that,San Fran?

don't know… but I don't see enough fixie. hipster bikes to be SF :)

CommuteCommando 02-22-14 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pamtivek (Post 16517183)
what's the best entrance to use to get to the showers without necessarily going through the whole building in bike gear (it would be a 12 mile commute for me).

I come in the regular employee entrance in full MAMiL regalia. I back pack in a weeks worth of clothes on Monday, and pack it out on Friday. I ride easy on the way in because there are no showers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by scroca (Post 16518025)
Quote:

...and then what if a bunch of other people decide to follow my example, that would mean a bunch of bikes....
In my experience, that is highly unlikely.

This is my experience too. Four years and I got my manager to ride about five times, One of the production workers did it for a month then quit.

Andy_K 02-22-14 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynaryder (Post 16518287)
^^^That would royally suck if you'd just ridden in the rain/snow. Where is that,San Fran?

Palo Alto. They probably have a very clever way to keep dry when it's been raining. I mean, they're IDEO, clever design is what they do.

bragi 02-23-14 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pamtivek (Post 16502010)
I'm trying to convince my boss to convince his boss to enable me to commute to work by bike, it would be helpful if you could post some stories or pictures of silicon valley type companies with bikes somewhere (I remember seeing once the entrance to Facebook with a bunch of bicycles parked)

See the place where I started working is a tech company and they're trying (and in more than one way succeeding) to emulate that silicon valley start-up spirit (in eastern europe). They moved into a new building, with a gym, ping pong tables, olive trees, bright white furniture and large windows etc. but they really missed the bike commuting part of it, they have some reservations about it, so I'm trying to appeal to them with social proof, I imagine a bunch of people commute with bikes in those types of companies.

so, if you've got something, help a fellow cyclist out :)

I don't work in tech; I'm a school teacher. No one has ever questioned how I get to work; as long as I arrive on time, everyone is happy. I suspect that there are school teachers in eastern Europe who also ride bicycles to work without being harassed about it. How is it that you, a tech worker who presumably has skills that are much more marketable than those of teachers, are getting sh*t about how you get to work? This seems unreasonable to me. If you show up at the job, on time and dressed according to the culture of your workplace, how you get there, which is officially your time not theirs, should be up to you, not them. My attitude would be: "What makes you think you have the right to determine anything about my life outside of the job?"

dscheidt 02-23-14 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy_K (Post 16518841)
Palo Alto. They probably have a very clever way to keep dry when it's been raining. I mean, they're IDEO, clever design is what they do.

I suspect the clever design is don't ride in the rain.

clarkbre 02-23-14 11:18 AM

OP:

I would start cycling to work and then ask for forgiveness/accommodations.

It seems like any company (whatever industry it is) has people that constantly ask for all sorts of (what seems to management) pie in the sky accommodations and then once delivered, those asking fail to use them. It's a waste of management and company resources.

On the flip side, if you start biking to work daily, find a secure and discreet place to park & lock your bike (under a stairwell may work) you have some leverage to show management that providing accommodations may be a viable option. If they say no, then just continue riding and parking where you have created a spot.

jputnam 02-23-14 02:03 PM

I don't work there myself, but Microsoft certainly supports bike commuters in a big way -- including regular shuttle trailer service across a freeway bridge that doesn't allow bicycles, and working with the Washington State DOT to fund an entirely new bicycle/pedestrian freeway overpass at their Redmond campus.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/...ss-520-bridge/

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/...ransit-center/

If I remember correctly, they also have a bike shop on-site for employees, subsidized by the company, showers, towel service, and secure bike parking.

jputnam 02-23-14 02:11 PM

As for myself, I work in a fairly conservative field (life insurance) in a high-level strategic communications role, working directly with the CEO, CMO, etc. Business casual means a coat without a tie, or a tie without a coat.

We have a covered outdoor bike rack, that's the only accommodation for bicycle commuters, but it's enough for my commute. I carry slacks, underwear, undershirt on the bike, change in the restroom so I'm not walking through executive-visible areas in spandex. Dress shirts, ties, shoes, and coat stay at work so I don't have to carry them back and forth on the bike.

I suspect we'd get a lot more bike commuters if we had lockers, showers, etc. As it is, most of the year we have 0.17% bike commute mode share despite being in the Seattle area and having bike lanes right to the office.

clarkbre 02-23-14 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jputnam (Post 16520050)
I don't work there myself, but Microsoft certainly supports bike commuters in a big way...
...If I remember correctly, they also have a bike shop on-site for employees, subsidized by the company, showers, towel service, and secure bike parking.

Agreed. My company does quite a bit of work out there and it amazes me how bicycle friendly that campus is. Actually, the entire town of Redmond is well laid out and respectful of bike commuters and recreationalists.

oddjob2 02-23-14 05:04 PM

http://blog.sfgate.com/bicycle/2012/...g-bike-fleets/

http://blog.publicbikes.com

Mr. Hairy Legs 02-23-14 10:50 PM

Sorry to join the thread so late...

Whatever your position, don't underestimate the power you have to change corporate culture and influence decisions made by managers/owners. I work in BC's "Silicon Valley", and the office I started in had no bike provisions whatsoever. I just wheeled my muddy bike into the office every day and changed clothes in a puny little bathroom. Nobody ever suggested I not do this, but what happened after a year or so was we moved into a very bike-friendly place with reasonably secure parking and private showers. I wasn't the primary reason we moved, but bike friendliness became one of the main criteria when the owner was looking around, and I was no doubt a big part of this. If nobody is biking to work, then you don't need bike facilities, right?

People may think you're crazy at first, but you can really work this to your advantage.

CrankyOne 02-24-14 07:08 AM

Clarkbre raised some excellent points that you do want to be mindful of. Thousands of people do 10 mile commutes in daily work clothes, from suits to jeans to whatever, and then leave their bikes outside all day, regardless of weather. Can you do that? Do you really need any special accommodations from your company?

wphamilton 02-24-14 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne (Post 16521773)
Clarkbre raised some excellent points that you do want to be mindful of. Thousands of people do 10 mile commutes in daily work clothes, from suits to jeans to whatever, and then leave their bikes outside all day, regardless of weather. Can you do that? Do you really need any special accommodations from your company?

I agree with this. I was employed on a contractor basis for the first year and a half in my current job, for a Global 500 tech company (software engineer), and there is a professional atmosphere. We have public-facing and business to business elements so image is important. Since there were no bicycle commuters and never had been, walking through the lobby doors in sweat-soaked biking regalia was not on my agenda. I felt like I needed to show that there was no downside, no compromises or special accommodations necessary. I went so far as to change shoes at the bike rack, and if I was wearing warm-ups over my slacks those came off as well. I wanted to walk in with a professional appearance.

There are several ways to do this and I won't go into them, but I just want to emphasize CrankyOne's point that we don't really need any special accommodations for a 10 mile commute. As a regular employee now the situation is different and they've improved my parking also but in the final analysis, just do what it takes and work on improvements along the way.

Pamtivek 04-09-14 04:38 AM

Hey it's me the OP. I just wanted to report that I started biking to work a few days ago. I received much helpful advice from all of you, but the most helpful insight was from Mr. Hairy Legs:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Hairy Legs (Post 16521321)
Sorry to join the thread so late...

Whatever your position, don't underestimate the power you have to change corporate culture and influence decisions made by managers/owners. I work in BC's "Silicon Valley", and the office I started in had no bike provisions whatsoever. I just wheeled my muddy bike into the office every day and changed clothes in a puny little bathroom. Nobody ever suggested I not do this, but what happened after a year or so was we moved into a very bike-friendly place with reasonably secure parking and private showers. I wasn't the primary reason we moved, but bike friendliness became one of the main criteria when the owner was looking around, and I was no doubt a big part of this. If nobody is biking to work, then you don't need bike facilities, right?

People may think you're crazy at first, but you can really work this to your advantage.

After just three days of cycling to work, they already ordered a bike rack to be installed on the parking (it's protected from the elements).

Mark Stone 04-09-14 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pamtivek (Post 16654816)
(clipped) . . . After just three days of cycling to work, they already ordered a bike rack to be installed on the parking (it's protected from the elements).

Excellent! You're a world-changer.

NOS88 04-09-14 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tractorlegs (Post 16654947)
Excellent! You're a world-changer.

+1 Good stuff.

FMB42 04-09-14 06:41 AM

It is quite common for companies to require that their employees have at least one "reliable" form of transportation (personal vehicle, public transit, bicycle, and/or by foot, etc).

Companies also have a right to expect that you clock-in on time while being in a clean and properly dressed condition. That said, I very seriously doubt that any company would, or could, tell you that you can't ride your bicycle to work as long as you meet the above conditions (like every other employee).

As for the "showing up while drenched in sweat" problem; your company might give thought to installing showers and dressing rooms. Otherwise, you'd need to make other arrangements (as mentioned in previous posts).

WonderMonkey 04-09-14 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scroca (Post 16518025)
In my experience, that is highly unlikely.

Agreed. It would be great to have that problem but it just won't happen..... probably.

Null66 04-09-14 09:37 AM

Commuted a couple years at Xerox in the 90's.

Got some odd looks, and a bit of resistance. People saying bike would track in mud/snow etc on it's tire. I stored it in our lab/server room. Nothing I couldn't ignore.

But runners had broken ground when came to arrival appearance.
It didn't hurt that I usually started 2 hours before management and left after them...

Mr. Hairy Legs 04-09-14 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pamtivek (Post 16654816)
Hey it's me the OP. I just wanted to report that I started biking to work a few days ago. I received much helpful advice from all of you, but the most helpful insight was from Mr. Hairy Legs:



After just three days of cycling to work, they already ordered a bike rack to be installed on the parking (it's protected from the elements).

:thumb:

neil 04-09-14 09:33 PM

I don't work in tech, but I do work for a company that designs buildings, including buildings used by tech companies. If you've heard of a company, it's a pretty good bet that any new buildings built in the past 10 years or so will include cycling-support facilities, since it's cheap and easy LEED points. The facilities aren't complicated. Our new building (technically 102 years old, but we completely gutted it and rebuilt the interior last year) has a "purpose built" bike storage room: the hallway to the boiler room has a locking door at the end. This seems perfectly adequate for the roughly 30 bikes that turn up on a regular basis when the weather is nice. In larger buildings having something to lock a bike to might be more important, but if yours is the only company with access to whatever storage room gets designated for bikes, you should be fine.

In our case, the exterior door nearest the bike room can be opened with a keyfob so that we don't have to go through the office, but this really isn't as important as it might at first seem. Our old office required walking the bike through the whole office to get to the storage room used for bikes, and this was an office that was pretty cramped for space. It turns out that it's not very disruptive...once it's not a novel idea it's no different to people working nearby than someone walking past. And it's actually better for promoting a bike-commuting culture at an office if your co-workers see you coming and going (ideally you won't be dressed for the tour de france if you want to attract non-cyclists to commuting).

Some of the other buildings we've designed didn't have a good storage room or dead-end hallway available, but we'll still put lock-up facilities inside somewhere. A bike rack in the loading bay or hangers on the wall in an out-of-the way corner are always options. I'm assuming your company uses open-concept design, but if not, then just permission to keep a bike in an office is more than enough.

It sounds like you've already got showers and a change-room thanks to the on-site gym, so that's nice, a real plus for longer commutes.

And all that's just the indoor options. Consider Google's front door: https://www.google.ca/maps/@37.42201...4LnEeQ!2e0!3e5

cwar 04-09-14 09:43 PM

Someone already mentioned how bicycle friendly Microsoft is. Amazon.com is also very supportive of bike commuting. Check out this article.
Amazon gives a push to biking downtown | Local News | The Seattle Times

neil 04-09-14 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dynaryder (Post 16518287)
^^^That would royally suck if you'd just ridden in the rain/snow. Where is that,San Fran?

I'm pretty sure those bikes are decorative. I don't see an easy way to get them up or down in the picture. I'm sure the bikes that get used are off camera somewhere.


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