Is The Cost Of Travelling To Work Disengaging Your Workforce?

Submitted by Dawn on 25th October 2016

employee engagement

Analysis from the TUC and the Action for Rail campaign have found that fares have rocketed by 25% over the past six years, while average weekly earnings have only seen a 12% rise. In other words, the cost of travel is increasing at more than double the rate of wages.

Is this something that employers need to be concerned about?  You may think that how your staff get to work is largely their own business. However, with the cost of getting into the office increasing at an alarming rate, business owners may find themselves facing some serious issues. 

If your staff commute from a distance, what would happen if they started to seek out opportunities closer to home? 

Could they be forced to seek out a higher pay packet, to cover their costs? 

And could the stress of the daily commute leave your workers feeling frazzled and demotivated? 

When you scratch the surface, it’s easy to see how the issue could start to create real headaches in terms of how you manage your workforce and it’s worth considering how you could take a more proactive approach. 

Firstly, let’s consider whether you need your employees to be on site every single day of the week. In some businesses, it’s an obvious pre-requisite for some of your staff to have a physical presence, on site each day to be able to sustain a quality service to your customers and clients. In other companies, though, a more flexible approach could bring about huge benefits. 

If your staff can work from home, their travel costs may be cut. They’re also going to be spending less time commuting, and this can have a positive impact on morale and productivity. Alternatively offering flexibility around start and finish time, within a designated window, could mean that they miss rush hour. Plenty of business owners have reservations about offering flexible working practices, but it could be time for you to re-visit established ways of thinking and bring your business up to date. 

Some employers decide to take a different approach, and provide financial assistance to help with travel costs. You could add season tickets to your employee benefits, or cover a chunk of the yearly fee. Or you might offer an interest-free loan so your staff can afford to take advantage of the savings that often come with booking a chunk of travel in advance. 

You might jump to the assumption that you can’t afford to fork out for extra expenses, but it’s sensible to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Can you afford to have your staff leaving your business because of escalating travel costs? It might be a balancing act, but it could be worth it. 

If you would like to discuss your challenges and concerns with an expert, without any obligation give us a call on 01604 763494 or contact us via the contact form on the right of this page for an initial consultation, and help you to establish how you can up your game as an employer.