Adrian Bewley's blog: Seven strategies to keep business moving in 2022
27 January 2022
Employee mobility is moving up the operational agenda as sustainability, new working patterns, vehicle availability and employee safety continue to impact business travel.
Businesses want workers to start travelling again and employees are keen to reconnect.
Companies are realising how difficult it is to move to net zero from an output point of view.
The obvious solution is buying, leasing or renting electric vehicles, but dependent on the usage of the vehicle and the miles driven, the public charging infrastructure needs to be considered. It is also wise to consider what types of journeys suit adoption of EVs and building this into a travel hierarchy really will help employees select the right travel mode.
Increasingly, our conversations with businesses explore how we can use our branch footprint to deliver a 'usership' model to whittle down capital costs.
Fleet and travel managers anticipate their fleets will be redistributed and linked heavily to the individual or total mileage required per person or by job task. We are helping them reimagine how a dedicated fleet of 'on-demand' vehicles can help employees to change ingrained (and less sustainable) patterns of behaviour.
With grey fleet increasing, many businesses only see the financial impact of employee travel when mileage is reclaimed at the end of the month. Organisations say they struggle to know how much business travel is taking place.
So how do they keep employees moving safely, especially as requirements keep changing?
- Keep talking. Establish lines of communication with employees to discuss mobility requirements and preferences. Keep talking to mobility suppliers - especially rental, as demand for vehicles remains high.
- Look ahead. Planning ahead for when you will need rental vehicles across the business will help you to optimise mobility. It may make sense to keep one or two vehicles for longer - or to introduce a dedicated on-site unit. Forecast your future requirements and discuss them directly with your supplier.
- Build in flexibility. Businesses and individuals are rethinking ownership and there are many alternative models. Base decisions on clear analysis of actual and potential usage to ensure employees remain supported. Create a travel hierarchy to match travel requirements, ensuring your employees have access to different modes of transport.
- Decarbonise business travel incrementally. Different travel occasions require different solutions and a bespoke fit to your requirements doesn't need to mean added cost. Shorter trips can be switched now to EVs - longer trips may still require petrol or diesel engines. Examine each aspect individually to find the best approach to decarbonise that travel category - and note that not travelling and meeting virtually will continue to be valid in the coming years.
- Look at the bigger picture of your carbon footprint. This needs to include all and any travel that employees - and goods - make for business. That includes the commute, grey fleet and pool car management.
- Focus on what's mission-critical. We offer tools that create rules so businesses can eliminate unessential trips. This means a 100% focus on essential travel in safe, low-carbon transport, ensuring your travel policy is enforceable and actionable to all employees.
- Support your 'road warriors'. Many jobs still require regular business trips, though patterns may have changed and some journeys may now be online meetings. Understand how best to equip regular travellers with safe, sustainable mobility exactly when they need it.
Adrian Bewley is assistant vice president of business mobility for Europe at Enterprise Rent-A-Car