How a sustainable mobility policy can help increase the well-being of your employees

Arval Mobility Observatory 29 Feb 2024

Companies that promote employee wellbeing are able to foster a positive work environment – and happy and healthy employees help businesses perform better. So, it’s easy to see why employee well-being plays such a central role in HR policies today.
The essence of employee well-being encapsulates physical, mental, and social dimensions, all of which are influenced by the way employees travel on daily basis.
Despite the disruption brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, commuting and business trips still remain an important element of the day-to-day life of employees. According to our research from 2022, 98% of employees still commute to work, while 55% take part in business trips.
Commuting, therefore, still has a profound impact on the way employees feel about work. Therefore, creating the right mobility policy can significantly increase the wellbeing, retention, and growth of your talent.
In this article, we’ll look at how sustainable mobility policies can help increase the well-being of your employees and discuss the steps you can take to start building yours. Small changes can be very impactful – the point is to start moving in the right direction.
What is a sustainable mobility policy?
From an HR perspective, a mobility policy can refer to two things:
  • Internal mobility, i.e. how employees change roles within the organization
  • Commuting and business trips, i.e. how employees get from one place to another
In this article, we’ll focus on the second definition of mobility, i.e. on commuting and business travel.
When it comes to moving from point A to point B, your employees need to consider multiple factors: travel time, proximity, flexibility, safety, cost and environmental impact – and driving is not always the best option.

In parallel to that, businesses and individuals worldwide have been actively looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Car policies no longer adequately capture the needs of companies and employees wishing to reduce the ecological impact of their commutes and business trips.
Therefore, switching from a company car policy, which targets a very specific population of your company, toward a flexible mobility policy, will not only help you respond to the expectations of your employees, but cover the full scope of transportation means they’re using.
Modern employees prefer having flexibility, autonomy, and a variety of commuting options – but, according to the Arval Mobility Observatory Employee Mobility Survey, only 54% of employees are confident in the fact that organizations will increase the range of their mobility options. So, a mobility policy encompassing all groups of people and their needs – as opposed to a car policy, which has a rather narrow focus – is a clear HR advantage.
This can be achieved either via proposing a mobility budget, offering e-bikes, providing shared mobility solutions or a mix of solutions adapted to each country and region. It’s important to personalize mobility policies to your employees’ needs, which will help increase their wellbeing in the workplace.
How can a more sustainable mobility policy increase your employees’ well-being?
According to the findings of the Arval Mobility Observatory Employee Mobility Survey from 2022, employees see mobility as an important element of their well-being and have high expectations towards their employers: 92% of employees would like their companies to provide at least one mobility service, while 73% would like to see the implementation of a mobility budget.
A more sustainable mobility policy that encompasses multiple means of commuting can be the best way to address this, providing employees choice and control over the transportation means they choose. Here are some of its main benefits:
Less time in traffic, more predictable commute times
Traffic congestion is a notorious time-waster. Sustainable mobility, through efficient public transit or dedicated cycling lanes, might often offer employees more predictable and fluid commute routes.
This alleviates your employees’ daily stress associated with commuting and contributes to a smoother start and end of the workday. Which leads us to the next point,
Mental health benefits
According to research, traffic congestion is an important stressor in the life of urban populations and has a profound negative impact on their health and well-being.
Providing your workforce with multiple options to choose from can have important psychological benefits and reducing the exposure to the stresses of traffic contribute to that and create a compounded positive effect.
Flexibility and autonomy in choosing commuting methods
The one-size-fits-all approach of car policies is becoming obsolete when it comes to commuting. Providing employees with the freedom to choose their preferred mode of transportation provides them a sense of agency, and therefore can improve their satisfaction and empowerment.
Embracing a variety of commuting options, whether it's cycling, walking, public transportation, car-sharing, or driving, is key to a flexible, happy, and productive workforce.
More opportunities for physical activity
Some commuting alternatives, such as walking or cycling, give employees more opportunities to be physically active and contribute to better health and a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Commuting via public transit is also related to an increase in physical activity (in the form of 8 to 33 additional minutes of walking, according to one study), as compared to the exclusive use of personal vehicles.
Potential cost reductions
Embracing sustainable mobility is also economically savvy, for both employees and employers. Tax regulations are still favoring electric vehicles, across Europe.
In addition to that, as KPMG points out, it’s crucial to understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of company cars. TCO encompasses all expenses associated with a company car, including financing, taxes, and operational costs. By comparing the TCO with alternative transportation means, organizations can devise more flexible approaches to budgeting for their employees’ mobility  a potential solution being using a “mobility budget” approach
How can you implement a more sustainable mobility policy at your organization?
Transitioning to a more sustainable mobility requires a structured approach and the implementation of multiple elements. Here are some of the things you can do to work towards providing your employees with sustainable mobility options:
  • Rethink your mobility policy (and other policies, too): The first step in providing better mobility options to your employees is to make the right policy changes, for example by shifting from a car policy to a sustainable mobility policy that features multiple modes of transport and incentivizes the use of sustainable transportation options. In addition to that, you could offer more support for flexible hours and remote work.
  • Engage employees: The successful implementation of a sustainable mobility policy requires the active participation and engagement of employees. Their buy-in and feedback are crucial in creating a policy that truly meets their needs and preferences.
  • Make infrastructure changes: Equip your workplace to support commuting by installing bike racks, setting up electric vehicle charging stations, and considering options like company shuttles or corporate car-sharing, with dedicated parking at the office premises.
  • Encourage carpooling and car sharing: You can facilitate carpooling and car sharing by creating an info board or a digital platform to help employees connect and plan their commutes together.
  • Introduce a yearly mobility budget and give employees choice: You can empower employees to make proactive decisions about their means of transportation by providing a yearly mobility budget, allowing them to choose how they allocate it across different options. This promotes sustainability and also gives employees a sense of control.
  • Lead by example: Leadership sets the tone for organizational culture – so, leadership buy-in is crucial. Actively participating in and advocating for sustainable mobility sends a powerful message across the organization. Encouraging your leadership team to use the full array of available transportation options is key for that.
  • Track results and identify areas for improvement: Regularly track and analyze the impact of your mobility policy on employee health, satisfaction, and productivity. Seeking feedback is essential for this, as is your readiness to adapt your strategies to meet evolving needs and challenges.
The takeaways
Today's companies are increasingly focused on building an employee-centric workplace – and commuting and business travel still play an important role in the day-to-day experience of employees.
Not all employees have the same needs in terms of transportation, however, and sustainability is an important concern for organizations and workers alike.
Therefore, creating a sustainable mobility policy that encompasses different mobility solutions – from electric cars to bikes to public transport and ride sharing – enables you to increase the well-being of your employees and provide them with a sense of agency and control.
This not only signals your commitment to corporate responsibility, but helps you build a workplace where a more engaged, productive, and healthy workforce can thrive.
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