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Understanding Employee Mobility

How will I get to work? This is a question which your employees ask themselves every day. Prospective employees will ask themselves before they even entertain taking a job with your organisation. The workplace commute is a daily reality.

“Reducing commuter friction is a key step in building a positive organisational environment.”

Workplace mobility is a much bigger concern for employees than many people realise. According to research by consulting firm Robert Half, 23% of workers have left their jobs due to tiresome commuting.

It’s not an easy challenge for companies to solve. Ultimately you have no control over increasing congestion, local transport infrastructure and the accessibility of your office in relation to public transport.

To futureproof your workplace mobility you need to look at the plans and processes you have available in relation to:

WORKPLACE MOBILITY TRENDS

To gain an understanding on the changes your company should make to increase employee mobility, you must first look at the current commuting practices. A great example is Dublin, the workforce in Dublin has access to a decent public transport system and extreme city centre traffic. While the road network outside of the main urban area is top class, the evolution of street patterns within the city is a nightmare. This European city is reflective of the current infrastructural challenges the wider world faces.

Since 1986, cars have been the number one choice by a significant margin for people when traveling to work. However, for the first time in 30 years, car usage is dropping with people looking for other commuter options. What does this broadening desire mean for your workplace and the future of employee mobility?

“Firstly, despite small drop-offs over recent years, high levels of car usage isn’t going anywhere soon for a number of reasons.”

On a macro-level mass changes in employee mobility are dependent on improved public transport, road networks, and transport infrastructure. There is very little companies can do about this, although a proactive public affairs team should engage local politicians and authorities with any recommendations.

On a micro-level, certain people will always need a car for a myriad of personal or professional reasons. Maybe they need to do the school run before work, maybe they have to drive an hour after work for sports practice or perhaps they need the car to frequently get out and about meeting clients and customers.

However, this doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t be making it as easy as possible for staff to leave their car at home on the days they don’t need it and incentivising use of alternative transport methods.

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EMBRACING THE PROACTIVE APPROACH

The vast majorities of companies can categorize their approach to employee mobility with one word, “reactive”. Unfortunate Human Resources and Facilities professionals are left fire-fighting against constant complaints around the cost of parking, poor public transport, and the lack of available facilities on site.

The good news is that a reactive approach is not the only approach. If your HR and Facilities managers utilize a proactive model to employee mobility, companies can make massive savings, reduce their carbon footprint, and positively impact on the bottom line. *

The importance of employee mobility is only going to increase with the growing pressures of urbanisation. It is vital for your company to embed a culture of proactive mobility planning. Allow your employees to focus on the things which can grow your business as opposed to worrying about how they are going to get in and out of work.

Daithí de Buitléir

Daithí de Buitléir

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