Over the past few years public sector organisations have been feeling the squeeze as budgets are tightened across the board. All organisations are looking for ways to save money and deliver greater efficiencies.
Often it is travel and accommodation budgets that have restrictions placed on non-essential travel or the type of travel.
Of course, most public sector workers never overspend on travel or hotel accommodation, mindful of the need to deliver good value for money. However, now more than ever, employees must be careful about every pound spent.
The Government has led the way over the last few years in placing restrictions on its own departments, insisting that all rail journeys are made second class. This has led to the number of first class journeys reducing.
However, in some circumstances, travelling by first class rail is actually more cost effective and delivers greater value for public sector organisations.
A more productive environment?
First class rail can offer a more productive working environment, with plenty of room, ample workspace, free WiFi, power sockets and more business-focused travellers.
In addition, any extra money spent on a first class ticket could be balanced by the fact that the hours on the train are spent working productively. In fact, there is an academic study that has put a value of this time. According to a Professor of Transport and Society at Bristol’s University of the West of England, it is about £31 an hour.
Less expensive than economy?
Despite the perception, first class travel isn’t even always the most expensive way to travel. If tickets are booked in advance they can come at a reduced rate, sometimes cheaper than flexible economy travel. Using an online booking tool can help travellers find the most cost effective rail tickets, without the associated booking fee and without spending hours trying to find the best deal.
There are also other benefits to using an online booking tool, including no charges for amendments or cancellations.
Of course, if first class travel is against an organisation’s guidelines, then using an online booking tool can help them manage this policy by placing restrictions on first class tickets.
With the ability to customise buying decisions, organisations can be confident that their travel policies are being upheld.
YPO has developed a public sector travel management services framework with partner procurement organisations. It provides access to an advanced, intuitive online booking tool which enables customers to book online rail travel and hotel accommodation with no associated booking fee. For more information on the framework contact [email protected]