I've always wished my work space was more like IDEO:
I've always wished my work space was more like IDEO:
^^^That would royally suck if you'd just ridden in the rain/snow. Where is that,San Fran?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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).
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...
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://firstname.lastname@example.org...4LnEeQ!2e0!3e5
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