Flexibility drives the future of work

As businesses continue to embrace flexible working, they also require flexible transport solutions that are more cost efficient, employee friendly and environmentally sustainable


SPONSORED BY Zipcar

The last few years have seen a gradual shift towards more flexible ways of working, rapidly accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. While a permanent, full-time embrace of remote working is unlikely – the pandemic has also highlighted how some industries simply can’t operate in a totally virtual way – it’s clear businesses will seek to refine a more hybrid work model in the coming years, defined by a healthy combination of central hubs, localised offices and home working.

At the heart of the model won’t just be flexible working, but a need for more flexible transport solutions too. The notion a company requires a fixed fleet of cars or vans for its workforce, or even that employees need their own car to get them to the office and to their meetings each day, will begin to look increasingly outdated. The traditional fleet, therefore, is likely to go in the same direction as the traditional office nine to five, as companies turn to highly scalable carsharing services that allow them to only pay for the time they actually use the vehicles.

The decisions companies make on both their work model and transport solution will be defined not only by employee wellbeing, productivity and cost efficiencies, but also sustainability. As environmental concerns have shot up the global agenda in recent years, so has the eagerness among businesses to reduce their own carbon footprint.

“During the pandemic, we’ve all experienced what cities look and feel like with fewer cars on the road, not least the cleaner air quality and less noise pollution,” says James Taylor, UK general manager at carsharing company Zipcar. “This is something we can hopefully try and retain post-pandemic. A key part is reducing the overall number of cars on the road while still providing businesses with a transport solution that meets their needs. And that’s clearly where carsharing has a large role to play.

“As workplaces become more flexible, we need a flexible transport option to sit alongside. There is no longer any reasonable need to invest significant sums in traditional transportation fleets, which also harm the environment. Flexible on-demand transport is the most befitting model of the new world of work we are entering, providing a vehicle, with simplicity and ease, only when you need it. That’s what we offer at Zipcar.”

Zipcar is a flexible, affordable and easy alternative to private car and van ownership, offering on-demand access to thousands of vehicles around the clock, all bookable and unlocked via the Zipcar app. The company offers two core services to both consumers and businesses. Flex is the one-way option, allowing users to drive to their destination and leave it there, while Roundtrip offers cars and vans that live in their own bay which they must return to. Everything is included in the service, including fuel, insurance and congestion charges.

“Businesses will be looking to save costs where they can and transport is where they can reduce costs while also embracing sustainability”

Zipcar’s business solution, Zipcar for Business, which offers driving rate discounts and the first year’s membership free, also allows organisations to host whole teams on one account where they can monitor vehicle usage, both from a cost and sustainability perspective. More than 13,000 businesses already use Zipcar for Business with many enjoying a more tailored service to meet their needs, including extended bookings or contracted usage of vehicles at certain times of the day or week.

“There is no doubt the trend we’re seeing around flexible working is going to continue in the long term and people will start making different choices around how they get around,” says Taylor. “As we come out of the pandemic, and the economic damage endures, businesses will be looking to save costs where they can and transport is where they can reduce costs while also embracing sustainability. Zipcar is perfectly placed to tap into that, providing businesses with a totally flexible, sustainable and reliable solution.”

For more information please visit zipcar.com/en-gb/future-of-business