Has the ground been prepared for a reform of corporate mobility practices?

Much has already been written about the Coronavirus crisis and its potential future consequences. Has our society changed forever? Is an unparalleled economic disaster heading our way? Are we heading towards a reform of corporate mobility practices? This is a question on everyone’s lips, because nobody is sure. It’s clear that companies that dare to question their current practices and act quickly will come out of this stronger. Are we heading for a new ‘mobility era’?

Published 20th of August 2020

Reforming corporate mobility practices? Statistics do not lie!

The Mo’vid-19 survey by Espaces-Mobilités questioned 3.200 Belgians about their attitude to mobility before and after the crisis. 43% of the participants indicated that they intend to change their mobility habits after the crisis. They think that the reform of corporate mobility practices will mainly favour soft mobility solutions such as bikes, foot bikes and walking. Among the soft mobility solutions, the bike is doing extremely well. It comes as no surprise that Belgians are turning to bikes. 34% of the Mo’vid-19 participants stated they would use a bike or a scooter more often as a means of transport after the crisis. This is something we can only welcome.

The figures published by Cowboy and Billy Bike, among others, to the general public only confirm this trend. The Brussels-based start-up Cowboy markets electric designer bikes and they saw their sales increase by 230%. The shared bikes of Billy Bike have doubled the number of rides taken in recent months. In the business world, too, bicycle rent is on the increase. This is how mobility consultant Cycle Valley came across a new business model for company bikes ‘thanks’ to the Coronavirus crisis: short-term rental (per month). It is absolutely clear that a reform of corporate mobility practices is happening.

The fact that the bike is on the rise has not escaped politicians’ notice. The Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works, Lydia Peeters, has put together a sustainable mobility toolbox in response to the findings on mobility in times of crisis. The aim is to encourage the Flemish people to keep on cycling even after the Coronavirus. To this end, she is investing a budget of 3 million euros in, among other things, bike streets, extra bike parking spaces and the widening of bike and walking paths, and pedestrian crossings. This will allow people to stay one and a half metres away from each other.

Working from home is preferred!

The greatest impact on mobility was undeniably the obligation to work from home. Before the Coronavirus crisis, working from home was not yet established in many companies. On the contrary, it was shunned due to mistrust of productivity, or rather lack of productivity, of employees. But eventually it became the new mandatory rule.

The Mov’id-19 survey found that 42% of employees are keen to do more telecommuting in the future. Working from home therefore results in positive reactions. 79% of the participants encourage the promotion and support of working from home.

Employers have also made a significant concession: the tax authorities have allowed a ‘Covid ruling net allowance‘ of 126.94 euros per month for employees who install a home office in Coronavirus times. In addition to this amount, a net fee of 20 euros can be paid for using a private internet connection.

Twitter has also understood that working from home is a keeper. Two weeks ago, Twitter unveiled a revolutionary policy that allows employees to work from home forever, if they prefer! Twitter is already putting the reform of its corporate mobility practices into practice.

In one of our previous blog articles about mobility in the post-Coronavirus era, you read how you could save money as a company by replacing expensive subscription costs with multi-ride cards.

Corporate mobility 2.0 – but how?

The monopoly of the company car as a corporate mobility solution is making way for other forms of flexible mobility. A company car is no longer the showpiece of a salary package for employees. They prefer to spend this budget freely on other, more personalised mobility options. Providing employees with access to a range of alternative transport options gives them an additional opportunity to travel in a flexible manner. This reform of the corporate mobility practices increases efficiency and productivity on the one hand, and reduces stress on the other.

Many employers also see the introduction of mobility budgets as an important asset for their employer branding. The mobility budget allows you to exchange your company car for sustainable alternatives or cash in a tax-friendly manner.

Let’s flatten the mobility curve!

Need support for your corporate mobility transformation? Do you need help in reforming your corporate mobility practices? Have a look at the Olympus Mobility website, or simulate your ideal mobility policy on the Payflip website!