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Adrian Bewley's blog: Changing offices means changing mobility needs

Date: 09 January 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Organisations' property arrangements are rarely set in stone. In any given year they might open new offices due to business expansion, or move to a new building, or rationalise an existing portfolio from, for example, 10 offices to five.

The impact on travel can be considerable and costly if it isn't managed properly.

Firstly, the changing commute could make a big difference to employee mobility. A smaller property portfolio or a move to a new city centre office could result in longer commutes and/or less parking space for commuters. If fewer employees drive their own cars to work, you might want or need to offer an alternative to grey fleet for their business trips.

A changing commute can also result in more employees choosing to work from home either part- or full-time, and that can have an impact on their mobility choices. Those workers often still need to travel for work and not all of them may have a company car or indeed a privately-owned vehicle. So how will they travel for business?

We work with our customers to map the locations of staff who work from home to establish how close rental branches or on-street car clubs are in order to help them determine what forms of mobility will work best for them.

Of course, a new office location affects business trips as well as commuting. In some cases, we've opened an entirely new rental branch location where people working in a new building need swift access to vehicles.  

Car clubs can also be a good choice in these circumstances. Businesses in cities might be able to take advantage of booking nearby vehicles in on-street bays, while those on campuses could find value in a small fleet of pool cars stationed on-site for their employees' dedicated use.

Sometimes the best solution is a blend of the two. We've worked with one large customer that moved to that dual approach after rationalising its property portfolio, replacing many of its grey fleet journeys with car club, both dedicated and on-street. 

It starts with careful analysis of who needs to travel, as well as when, for how long, where from and where to and most importantly, why. Then factor in time and resource to explain the new options to employees who may be having to change their usual transport preferences.

Data helps us to provide an organisation with a better range of mobility options that provide maximum flexibility and cover the right increment of time for employees on site, from an hour to a year or more. Then employees stay mobile and life in the new office begins on the right foot.

Adrian Bewley is assistant vice president of business mobility in the UK and Ireland for Enterprise Rent-A-Car