5 minute read 24 Sep 2019
A man with mobile and tablet

How companies can bring about a mobility transition

By

Hendrik Serruys

EY Belgium People Advisory Services Partner

Creative mind and out-of-the-box thinker. Solution-driven and passionate business partner. Addicted to new technologies. Love to wine and dine.

5 minute read 24 Sep 2019
Related topics Workforce Advisory

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Mobility is inherent in employment, but there has been a lot to do lately. How can companies deal with mobility within their Compensation & Benefits policy?

Most people still have to travel to work and the government contributes through the personal income tax in paying for the cost of commuting. But because this intervention is not sufficient, employers have also started financing the mobility of their employees through the organization of company transportation; interventions in the cost of public transportation and bicycle trips; and the company car of course. This way mobility – just like salary – has become an integrated part of the Compensation & Benefits policy.

The curse of company cars?

Company cars are on average two years old, private passenger cars on average nine years. The average CO2 emissions of company cars are lower than average. Almost 90% of all electric vehicles are also a company car. Claiming that the company car is the big polluter, therefore, comes up short.

There is now also a shift in the way of greening classic car fleets. Because investing in zero emission cars, spread over four years, is less expensive than currently still investing in a traditional fleet. In addition, electric cars will soon appear in all segments of all brands, and no longer only in exclusive brands or the top segment of traditional manufacturers. This makes them much more accessible.

The traffic jam problem is also not solved by banning company cars. Because according to the Federal Public Service Mobility, company cars make up only 8% of all passenger cars on the road.

Not so much punishing the possession of a company car, but encouraging the alternative use.
Hendrik Serruys
EY Belgium People Advisory Services Partner

Necessary transformation from possession to use

Despite the fact that company cars are neither the biggest polluters nor the only cause of traffic jams, companies definitely do need a mobility transformation that encourages the use rather than ownership of means of transportation. The total cost of ownership (TCO) for employee mobility is increasing considerably. Companies have already taken measures by, for example, limiting the budgets for company cars and increasing the employee's own contribution. But with the rising prices for fuel and public transportation and who knows, before long also new measures such as pay-as-you-drive, the TCO for employers will only increase further.

Users of a company car are currently only taxed on the possession of their car, not the use. As a result, with the car to the bakery around the corner or quickly back and forth to the coast to dine in a nice bistro, no longer forms any threshold …

Multi-modal and multi flexible

In order for the mobility transformation in companies to succeed and bring about a real change in employees, a multi-modal and multi-flexible mobility policy is needed. That should stimulate more, motivate more, make more flexible and make more accountable. Employees must be encouraged to use alternative means of transportation. And that stimulus can be given by the employer, but also by the government and society.

Furthermore, legislative initiatives must allow more flexibility. If you currently make a specific choice – turning in your car for example – then you also give up a number of things. And since people are rather cautious, it means that the step to change is not often taken.

Finally, more accountability is needed. Some employees lose 10 to 15 hours a week in traffic jams, which is an extra weekend day. Companies must be aware of the impact, not the least in terms of well-being, and seek customized solutions.

Integrating multimodality and flexibility in a mobility strategy is different for every company since every company faces a different issue. In some companies, employees primarily work sedentary, in others they are more out on the road. Some sites are difficult to reach by public transportation and you therefore need very specific solutions. With the new mobility budget alone you will not make it, it must be connected to a reasoned out strategy.

EY explains to employers and employees what the options are and guides them in the change process towards new forms of mobility. Because everyone likes to jump on their bikes in the summer, but a transformation is only successful if your employees also come to work on their bikes in the winter. This requires constant dialogue and support.

EY is also making considerable efforts to guide its employees towards new forms of mobility:

  • When moving to the new offices in Ghent and Antwerp, employees were encouraged to come to work in an alternative way. Alternative options were mapped out using mobility flashcards. The location of both new offices was also determined by the proximity of public transport.
  • Employees with a company car are encouraged to opt for a smaller, and therefore less polluting, company car. For this they receive units that they can use in the flex reward plan to obtain other benefits.
  • Employees are also encouraged to make less use of the company car for work-related trips. They can opt for a train subscription or train ticket that allows them to travel to work/the client an alternative way, a few days a week. EY covers the costs of these subscriptions/tickets.
  • The above measure, in combination with our focus on flexible working, results in less congestion and stress among employees and consequently in a higher well-being.
  • In the future, EY will also invest more in a greener and more sustainable fleet, with a range of less polluting cars. In addition to the CO2 emissions, this also takes into account the eco scores.

The offices in Diegem, Ghent and Antwerp have various e-cars available that employees can use free of charge.

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Summary

In order for the mobility transformation in companies to succeed and bring about a real change in employees, a multi-modal and multi-flexible mobility policy is needed. That should stimulate more, motivate more, make more flexible and make more accountable.

About this article

By

Hendrik Serruys

EY Belgium People Advisory Services Partner

Creative mind and out-of-the-box thinker. Solution-driven and passionate business partner. Addicted to new technologies. Love to wine and dine.

Related topics Workforce Advisory