Preparing for Post-Covid-19 Travel

Find out how your business can adapt to a post-Covid-19 world

Your business operations, including travel to work, may have changed significantly over the last few months. With social distancing measures likely to be in place for the rest of 2020, it’s important to ensure staff have a plan for travelling to work safely. Whether you are preparing to return to the workplace, concerned about changes in staff travel behaviour or wondering how to keep staff motivated at home, this module has everything you need to plan for the future.

The materials and information contained in this module are offered as hints, tips and practical advice. They are not a substitute for official U.K. Government advice, which should be viewed as a first point of reference and primary source of information: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. The information in this Travel Plans 365 module was last updated on 12th August 2020.

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Keeping staff motivated whilst working from home

Remote working can present several challenges to productivity and team morale, and finding a healthy work/life balance can be just as tough as avoiding distractions at home can be for others. It is important to find new ways to keep your employees engaged and productive to ensure harmony and productivity.

Get the right kit

Get started by ensuring your employees are kitted out with everything they need for agile working:

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Nobody knows what the future will hold. Ensuring employees have everything they need for a quick transition to home or agile working can reduce lost time and ensure operational flexibility.

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Fitness Fridays and wellness Wednesdays

Encourage employees to talk about or share a photo or Strava print screen of themselves doing something active at least one day per week / month.

It’s a great way to keep employees connected and help them take care of their health by trying something fun. Whether it’s cycling, yoga or skateboarding – it’s sure to be a talking point and encourage mental and physical health as well as idea sharing and collaboration.

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Why not keep Fitness Fridays and Wellness Wednesdays going and encourage cycling, walking or roller-skating to work one day per week?

Organise and promote challenges and activities

Take part in national events and encourage sociable wellbeing activities and competitions that people can join in with wherever they are, such as couch to 5k, a cycle challenge or creating an office healthy cookbook for employees to share recipes. Many national events such as Bike to Work Day produce ready-made marketing materials for you so all you have to do is download and share them. To find out about upcoming national events, download our sustainable events calendar.


Preparing for changes in staff travel and returning to the workplace

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Consult with the workforce

If you haven’t completed a staff travel survey in the past 6 months, you may wish to consider a snapshot survey to gauge staff interest in different modes of transport and supporting infrastructure as well as staff confidence in and views on returning to the workplace.

If you have or can introduce flexibility in your hours of work (i.e. shifting start / finish times) and days in the office you may wish to explore bringing staff back to the office on rotation.

Provide new infrastructure

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to explore demand and invest in new sustainable travel infrastructure such as bike storage, lockers, clothes rails or changing facilities at your business. Here’s why:

  • More people than ever have started cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic – keep staff healthy by encouraging them to continue
  • Staff who usually/used to travel by public transport may have some Covid-19 related reservations about continuing to travel this way.
  • Staff who usually travel by public transport may face delays due to reduced capacity.
  • There may be more traffic on the road in compensation for reduced availability and capacity on other modes. Ensure you have enough parking capacity and reduce staff lateness by providing alternatives.

Some local authorities have made grants available to local businesses to help with the purchase and installation of measures that support sustainable travel. Check with your local authority to see if you are eligible for support.

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Provide information

The options your staff have for travel to work may have changed. Help them out by:

  • Ensuring regular communication to all levels
  • Keeping up with the latest government advice
  • Adding a ‘How to find us' section to your website
  • Offering personalised travel advice to help them plan their journey
  • Putting together a digital travel pack containing useful information about different modes of transport (see checklist for ideas on what to include in your travel pack)

The cycle to work scheme

Consider offering a salary sacrifice scheme to help employees with the purchase of a new bike. You can either set up your own scheme or use a third-party provider such as cyclescheme.co.uk to take care of the admin for you.

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Manage your car park

Are you prepared for a surge in car parking demand? Former public transport users who do not choose to cycle or walk to work may instead decide to drive. It is important to manage demand to reduce the impacts of oversubscribed car parking, which can raise road safety concerns and impact negatively on neighbouring businesses. By managing demand, you will also be encouraging employees to take up healthier and more sustainable forms of transport and be protecting the environment.

For tips on car park management, visit the How to Effectively Manage your Carpark module.

Future resilience

Everything you have learnt in the module will help your business to become more resilient and adaptive to changes in working practices. To keep up the practices you have learnt, there are two final options to consider:

Adopting agile working and flexible hours

If your staff have spent time working at home and proven that they can be just as productive and reliable when out of the office, you may consider adopting an agile working policy. You could consider:

  • Allowing staff to work from home or a remote location once per week or more frequently
  • Hot desking to reduce office space (when social distancing and sanitization allows)
  • Allowing greater flexibility with working hours

In the short term, this may also help with meeting social distancing requirements.

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Continued communication

After returning to the office, it is good practice to ensure continued communication with staff. It is important to remember that the Covid-19 period has affected each individual and communication is key for motivating staff and ensuring their efforts are recognised. Consider a monthly or quarterly newsletter or establishing an employee working group chaired by employees below senior management level, where staff can voice concerns and new ideas. Always ensure that any legitimate requests or concerns raised through the group are acknowledged.

Learning Outcomes

  • How to keep staff motivated whilst working away from the office
  • How to prepare for returning to the office
  • How to prepare for changes in staff travel

Need help or advice with the information contained in this module?

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