Reducing the hassle of travel can really create a happy medium for both employer and employee says Holly Thomas, Business Development Manager at Trainline for Business.
Everyone knows that employee benefits and packages make life simpler. From childcare schemes to health insurance, every little perk helps in an employee’s daily life. Yet there are some benefits that employees will use more than others. Commuting to work is a regular routine for many and the cost attached to it can often be high – so supporting employees in the cheapest way possible is a big help. However, being inexpensive isn’t the only factor to consider: ensuring it is hassle-free is just as important.
Season ticket loans are a popular benefit amongst employees but the conventional process that is used by many companies today can be extremely time-consuming, and often costly to employers too. It involves an employee travelling to a station to find out the cost of a season ticket and then returning to work to fill in a form provided by the HR team. Said form is then sent off to HR for sign off, who then provide a cheque to the employee or pay the funds straight into the employee bank account. With the funds in hand, the employee returns to the train station and buys their ticket. The process is extremely long winded for the employee and employer, costing both unnecessary time and effort.
And things aren’t getting any easier. In more recent times, many train operators have stopped accepting cheques at stations or have implemented a varying set of additional requirements, for example, requiring HR to provide an accompanying letter on headed paper along with the cheque. This can be bewildering for the employee and hugely time consuming for the employer. Additionally, a study at Trainline found that on average raising a cheque costs approximately £30.00, so inevitably, it has an invisible cost attached. This is particularly evident for large companies raising an endless number of cheques.
However, a solution from Trainline for Business eradicates these drawn out administrative tasks by streamlining the process. The self-booking tool reduces the need for forms and manual verification of ticket processes, creating a win-win situation for all. Employees can register online and order their tickets for almost any journey within a few minutes. With this advanced tool, there is a material reduction in both admin and paper trailing and with online ticket authorisation there is no longer a need for HR to manually sign off as season tickets can be authorised at the click of a button!
By putting everything at an employee’s fingertips, there is no queuing at the station or unnecessary forms to fill in. The tickets are delivered securely to the office using Royal Mail Special Delivery, ensuring they are quick and efficient. Even better, an annual ticket normally offers 12 months of travel for the price of ten and with many employers allowing employees to pay back in instalments rather than all at once, employees gain the benefit of the discount upfront but with easier payment.
At the same time the employer benefits too. Raising multiple cheques or BACS payments can be inconvenient and admin-heavy: this Trainline for Business service allows companies to only pay one invoice weekly, saving the finance department time. Importantly, it also helps avert the risk of company loans being used for improper purposes.
To summarise, the Trainline for Business solution is easy to use, significantly reduces admin time, and as a result, allows more time to be spent on strategic initiatives. It means that Trainline for Business can really create a happy medium for both employer and employee by removing time and hassle all round.