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How to integrate the mobility budget?

Athlon Belgium draws lessons from an internal mobility survey

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Athlon Belgium
Six months after the Chamber approved the mobility budget, many companies are still having trouble with it. How can they integrate the different measures in their policy and car policy?

As a mobility provider, Athlon likes to be proactive. We looked into the wishes of our own employees using a mobility survey. Erwin Ollivier, Country Manager at Athlon Belgium, and Thierry Devresse, Strategic Alliances and Projects Director, explain the results.

What was the purpose of the survey?

Thierry Devresse: “First and foremost, we wanted to get an objective idea of our employees’ interests, especially those who have a company car. The survey covered topics such as the mobility budget, electric mobility, and alternatives to the car, such as bicycles and public transport. We’ll improve our mobility policy based on the results.”

Erwin Ollivier: “Moreover, we always use our own story as a test bench for concepts and products that we want to market. This allows us to adjust this survey before we offer it to customers to identify the mobility needs of their employees.”

Were the results within expectations or were there any surprises?

Thierry Devresse: “What we didn’t foresee was the great focus on measuring and rewarding good mobility behaviour. That’s what 82 percent of our employees brought up.”

Erwin Ollivier: “This is also in line with our vision of the mobility budget. We want to translate the philosophy behind it into a car policy. This means that you give people insight into the consequences of their mobility choices, which makes the consequences measurable and ensures that they flow back to them as concretely as possible. It’s actually more about empowerment than about steering.” 

How much interest is there in the mobility budget?

Thierry Devresse: “Fifty percent of our employees said they would consider using the mobility budget. If we combine this with other answers from the survey, from which we can deduce candidate suitability, then approximately a quarter of specific candidates remain. The vast majority of people continue to choose a car, even though they use the mobility budget. According to our survey, only 1 or 2 percent would cancel their company car altogether.”

Erwin Ollivier: “If we want to contribute to the greening of mobility, we must take this into account. In this respect, the mobility budget offers added value compared to today’s car policies. This is where the budget for a lease car is maximally utilised because everything you don’t use is lost. The mobility budget will provide a clear legal framework for choosing a more economical car and cashing in on the surplus in the form of alternative transport or even money.” 

Thierry Devresse: “In the mobility survey, we asked about the solutions that people would need for choosing a smaller car or giving up the car altogether. It’s became quite apparent that they need to be able to borrow a car temporarily. Athlon offers this solution in the form of Car2Use. Initially, we mainly offered smaller city cars in this project, but there has been a much greater demand for a larger shared car since the introduction of the mobility budget. For example, people want to use them for a longer trip with the family.”

Do you have tips for companies that want to implement the mobility budget?

Thierry Devresse: “Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with several customers who want to implement the mobility budget. Each time, after a few questions, they realise that a lot of preparation is still needed and that it takes a great deal of manual work to manage the system themselves. After all, each company will have to work out a plan for its employees and its specific situation. There will be a wide range of possibilities, so you have to decide what you want to offer and what you don’t.” 

“We are working on a solution in which we support clients with the implementation of the mobility budget and manage it for them entirely. It’s a platform that both manages the administration and gives employees the opportunity to easily use other forms of transport. The intention is that customers spend less time managing the mobility budget than they do managing their current fleet.” 

You’ll start working with the results of the survey during Mobility Week. What does that entail?

Thierry Devresse: “Our Mobility Week focuses on the lessons we have learned from the survey. For example, we noticed that our employees are asking to work from home one day a week. Most managers are fine with that. Yet, in practice, we see that people only work from home one day a month. We will ask our team leaders and managers about this in the run-up to Mobility Week. Above all, we want to raise awareness and make people engage in dialogue.” 

Erwin Ollivier: “Electric mobility will also be a point for attention. We want to give our employees much more opportunity to test electric cars. Then, not only can they experience that special driving feeling, but they can also see how charging such a car would fit into their daily lives.”

“The mobility budget is the third pillar. The colleagues who have already built up expertise in this area will inform the others during breakfast sessions.”

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