Microsoft introduces mobility alternative to company car
Microsoft has introduced a mobility offer as an alternative to company cars for its employees in Germany.
The technology giant has partnered with Sixt and Fleet Logistics to develop the scheme, which gives staff access to a wide variety of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as public transport, with no long-term commitments.
The new mobility policy reflects changes in working practices, with more employees adopting a hybrid pattern of working from home as well as in the office, according to Microsoft. This demands more flexible transport solutions, with staff also keen to use more sustainable travel options.
Michael Pohl, Senior HR Benefit Program Manager at Microsoft, said: “Flexible working models are deeply rooted in our DNA. Thanks to the cooperation with SIXT and Fleet Logistics, we can now also offer our employees this flexibility in the area of modern mobility.”
Sixt + flex is a subscription-style product that gives Microsoft employees access to the rental company’s fleet, enabling them to switch between vehicle classes, potentially choosing a small, electric car for everyday use and a larger vehicle with a longer range for weekends and holidays. The all-inclusive product covers all costs (tyres, maintenance, insurance) apart from fuel, and when staff don’t need a vehicle, they can suspend their rental payments.
Moreover, as these are rental cars, Microsoft does not have to account for them on its balance sheet under IFRS16.
Florian von Klier, Executive Director Global Innovations and Solutions at SIXT, said: “With SIXT+ flex, we enable business customers to have a modern, adaptable and sustainable fleet and thus a new way of using company cars that is tailored precisely to their needs.”
For employees who do not want to drive a car, Fleet Logistics’s MobilityBUDGET offers personal mobility solutions on a tax-optimised basis. These could include personal leasing and rental services, as well as public transport.
Patrick Averweg, Senior Product Manager at Fleet Logistics, said: “MobilityBUDGET is the first mobility product in our new family of mobility offerings, which we will be expanding and evolving over the coming months and years to meet the increasingly sophisticated mobility needs of our customers and their employees."
At the Global Fleet Conference in Lisbon, David Omodei, senior procurement engagement manager, Microsoft, revealed that that the company was exploring opportunities to offer its employees mobility services as an alternative to company cars, in a move designed to help the environment and enhance the company’s benefits package.
“We believe that by diversifying our modes of transport we can reduce our carbon footprint. The second element is our HR strategy; we love to bring something new to our employees from a benefits perspective,” he said.
Omodei added, however, that any solution would need to be cost neutral with Microsoft’s company car scheme.