At work—what can I do?
Travel at work
How you get to and from work is another area where you can make a personal contribution—it's a great way to reduce your daily travel costs and impact. There are even ways you can save your organisation money by considering alternative transport options and using technology to reduce the need to travel to meetings during work hours.
Getting to work
Making active travel as well as public transport part of your commute to work has a range of benefits.
- Reducing the number of car trips you make will reduce your fuel and running costs and the wear and tear on your car. Heavy traffic on our roads increases traffic congestion, as well air and noise pollution.
- You can use your car less by walking, riding, using public transport or car pooling and car sharing to get to work. This can cut your transport costs and reduce or even remove the need for your car or the second car and help you get some exercise into your day.
- Try using public transport one day a week as a start and build this up over time. It can help you find more hours in your day by giving you time to read, relax and do some work as well as helping you save on parking and vehicle costs. If you live within cycling distance, you could try riding one day a week in good weather and increase the number of rides over time.
Working from home
Why not see if you can work from home sometimes?
Teleworking can result in increased productivity, reduced office expenses and improved staff retention. With its flexible work hours and arrangements, teleworking can be a very attractive option for parents, carers, people with a disability or employees simply seeking to improve their work-life balance.
If you can't telework, you may be able to organise more flexible working hours allowing you to avoid peak hour travel. Traffic congestion and interruptions contributes to increased fuel use and costs. Flexible work hours can help you avoid traffic jams, reduce air quality issues and save time.
Travel for meetings
If you need to travel locally for work, consider taking public transport or carpool with your colleagues. With a little planning, public transport can be as quick as driving once you consider the time needed to find a parking space (and it can be the fastest and cheapest way of getting from the airport to the CBD in peak hour). Some workplaces provide public transport tickets for staff use. If your workplace doesn't, why not ask them to?
If you'd like to go further you could even consider setting up a bike fleet for cycling to and from meetings. Electric-assist bikes are a good option too, as they reduce the amount of effort you put in so you can avoid getting hot and sweaty.
As the least efficient transport mode, air travel between cities for meetings or conferences has a significant costs and impacts. If your destination is only a couple of hours away, public transport can be a viable alternative to air travel, saving money along with air and noise pollution.
Although face-to-face meetings are important, virtual meetings (teleconferencing, web-conferencing or video-conferencing) can be just as effective and a more sustainable option. The technology to enable virtual meetings is no longer exotic or expensive; in fact it can be free. If you have an internet connection the tools can be just a few clicks away. There is advice online on how to make the most of digital business tools.