Sunday, 9 October 2011

Just the season ticket!

If you think about it, the choice between car, bus or train is a nonsense! We never seem to consider the nature of a journey, the number of passengers, the load, frequency or distance we need to travel before thinking about a journey’s comfort or style. Routine imprisons our pockets too.

The trek to work is a classic case in point - marred with monotony, we drive ourselves into a state of solitary confinement so often in excess of need. Short of changing job so we can live and work within walking distance, the expense of commuting is inevitable. All the more reason to examine it.  

Commuter journeys present themselves as packages, their repetition and frequency conditioning us to accept our route from A to B. Our desire to arrive fit for work creates a fear of alternatives informed only by a lack of familiarity. We assume that nothing can change.


What difference can creditfree commuting make?
When we do not ask: can I arrive earlier, leave later, work from home; or is there a car share, cycle scheme or shower I may use, we allow travel to affect both our competence and capacity to work. Living costs increase, so we hope for a pay rise, becoming less motivated when we cannot or do not receive it.  

As a nation in debt, we should welcome initiatives that help us to ride the storm. Alternatives that enhance staff benefits can boost recruitment and retention. Too often, we stick rigidly to notions of cost, without exploring other methods for achieving our goals. We lose our capacity to innovate and be creative, when we accept the humdrum of every day life.

The reality of A to B is that it could pass via any combination of C to Z
How do we know whether another route is more convenient, if we do not travel though places where a journey could take us? How can we tell if the trade off is cheaper, shorter or more comfortable if we do not try it? Route change may be just the kind of energy boost or efficiency saving our workforces need - at no-to-low cost to employer or employee too.

Faced with increased travel costs, surely it’s time to look for savings elsewhere? 
Avoid cramped carriages and endure discomfort for less time, when you get out and walk from a stop that is further from your destination. Perhaps you can liftshare to a station or for your whole journey, or swap your pass the time paper for a one off investment in an electronic device? If you don’t ask yourself - and your employer - these questions, you’ll never crack the code to staying in and not out of pocket. 


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