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3 Aug 21

Why corporates need a new approach to mobility

Mobility is rapidly evolving from an infrastructural issue into a behavioural one. This is being accelerated by the COVID-19 situation which has blurred the boundaries between work and home for certain groups of employees. The reduced need to commute to and from work, in combination with significantly less business-related travel, is causing a shift in mobility behaviour – not only while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, but also going forward.

Times are changing for corporate mobility

Due to changing mobility needs and behaviour, employees are taking a different view of mobility-related compensation and benefits from their employers. The value of such benefits is becoming ever-more intertwined with their individual lifestyle: how and where they live, work and travel. Hence, as a corporate, now could be a good time to rethink your approach to mobility.

How employees’ attitudes, behaviours and motives are evolving

The recent developments related to the workplace, the social ecosystem and technology are all influencing your employees’ corporate mobility needs. They are increasingly looking for:

  • Multimodal travel and commuting, both within one journey and across several journeys. As a result of the downward trend in vehicle ownership combined with the upward trends in mobility as a service and shared mobility, there is an increasing demand for flexible and multimodal mobility solutions. These include digital interfaces that allow your employees to manage all their mobility options themselves, anytime and anywhere.
  • Smart mobility. Following the COVID-19 measures, many groups of employees have learned to work efficiently outside of the office. Remote working – whether from home or from a local shared office space or other easy-to-access meeting place when working in teams – has become the ‘new normal’. In such cases, smart mobility can also mean no travel at all. Mobility providers are therefore increasingly offering various services within an all-encompassing mobility hub, ranging from public transport and easy parking to access to shared mobility, micro-mobility and facilities for working and meeting. (Micro-mobility devices include bicycles, e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycles and electric pedal-assisted bicycles.)
  • Mobility as a lifestyle. Mobility has become about more than merely travelling to an intended destination. It is also about more than the travel experience itself. However, these two aspects combined are part of an employee’s lifestyle. Nowadays, people view mobility as an opportunity to read, to listen to music or podcasts, to stay in touch with friends and family, to burn calories while they walk or cycle from A to B, to work or simply to relax. Mobility is also linked to their intrinsic societal behaviour and is a way for them to express their core values and beliefs, such as related to environmental issues.

Comprehensive mobility requires a holistic and multidisciplinary approach

As a result, a growing number of corporates are starting to take a more holistic approach to corporate mobility. To adequately address this complex topic as it continues to evolve, they are forming multidisciplinary teams including representatives and specialists from Fleet, Travel, HR, Comp&Ben, Facilities and Operations.

One of the first tasks of such a team is to analyse, understand and anticipate the mobility-related behavioural changes of their workforce in order to create useful solutions for future corporate mobility.

In the next article in this series, called ‘The three building blocks of the mobility scan’, we will dive deeper into tools such as the mobility scan that can help corporates to develop a future-proof approach to mobility. For more inspiration about how to start gearing up for your employees’ changing mobility needs, register for the Smart Mobility Institute’s next online session about ‘Employee choice: a company car or mobility’ on 16 September.

Author: Saskia Harreman