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The mobility budget was created two years ago, but today it still remains uncharted territory for many. Not for us at Arxus though! In terms of electric cars, we are already the front runner within the Cronos Group: 85% of our employees already drive full electric. But it is about more than just cars... After all, in January 2022 we will start with the Flex Income Plan (FIP), a flexible way to let employees compose their own salary package.
Whether it is an electric car, the combination between a smaller car with an electric bicycle (for employees who regularly visit customers), or the total switch from electric car to electric bicycle, the mobility budget gives our employees room to adapt their mobility to their own lifestyle. In addition, as an employer, we cannot complain about this sustainable scheme, because the mobility budget is cost neutral.
Within Arxus we also provide a first in terms of creative implementation of the salary package. After all, in January 2022 we will start with the Flex Income Plan (FIP), which will ensure that employees will have even more options with regard to the way they manage their salary.
But first, let's take a look at Philippe. He is the first employee at Arxus to choose this route because, on the one hand, he lives not too far from the office, and on the other hand he likes sports and has 'the sustainable life' is in his fingers. Let's see what Philippe himself says:
Philippe, you are the first to make the switch from car to bicycle. What makes you choose an electric bicycle instead of a car? And how does it feel that you are the first?
"How does it feel that I am the first? Frightening 😊 When I started at Arxus, I had already been told that it was possible to also opt for a company bike. I don't use the car much myself, it is mainly parked at home. I tried to commit myself to exercise more in recent years, but with a car that intention is quickly forgotten. We have been glued in front of a screen all day and with the pandemic there was a smaller work-from-home bubble. As a result, I started cycling more in my spare time and I liked that. It seemed to me the ideal moment to take the step towards a greener solution. For trips that are a little further, I can take public transport and for a day out with the family, my wife's car is still available. "
How do you feel about working at a company where all this is possible?
"Because mobility has changed significantly in recent years, it is striking to see how much time we spend traveling by car, often to and from work. The fact that Arxus responds flexibly to this is certainly a major asset: you may indeed choose not to have a company car if it does not provide you any added value. The fact that the system is also analogous to the car leasing procedure makes it simple and transparent. At the end of the ride (no pun intended!) I have made a fair profit."
What do you do when our Belgian weather is not in your favor and throws a puddle of water over you in the autumn or winter?
"That will take some adjustment. My hair will be a bit tangled, but a little rainwater has never killed anyone: rain pants and a vest will be able to help. Since we will never really work like before 2020, I suspect that remote work will also increasingly play a role. You can also work from home when the storm breaks in the morning and only leave for the office later. That is the advantage of the flexible hours and the flexibility that Arxus offers."
You are finally free from arriving at work sweaty. Is that a relief?
"Definitely! Despite the fact that there is a shower in the office, it is still more pleasant to just get off your bike and get to work straight away. When it's 45° C, I don't need too do much. The choice of an electric bike also makes it possible to do much longer bike rides without my stamina letting me down."
Is there room in the office to safely store that beautiful new bike of yours?
"That is also provided! In the Cronos Mobility Center nearby, I can park my bicycle during working hours and I have the option of charging the battery in a safe way."
Would you advise colleagues to choose to trade in their car for a bicycle?
"Of course. You already build more exercise into your daily routine, which can only have advantages. With traffic jams that are common in the city, it is easier to get around by bike. In Mortsel, where I live, traffic is often stuck, so the bicycle is also ideal for smaller errands. I am now switching from an electric car to an electric bicycle: since I don't have a driveway, I always had to look for a charging place for the car and that is not always easy, despite the office having 33 charging points. I can park my bicycle in a secure garage and charge the battery at home. "
And finally, all that cycling probably has a positive effect on your physical condition. Do you also notice this?
"Absolutely. Because of those little extra trips I already have a little less back pain and I sleep better. I can only applaud that and so do my colleagues!"
We can decide that our flexible remuneration plans satisfy employer and employee and that in this way we also continue to build on our sustainable policy. We can speak of a mobility budget that is really beneficial for all parties. What does a man want more? A more extensive FIP plan you could say.. And that will be coming soon. Our employees will be able to exchange their standard benefits for benefits that better suit their environment.
How does this work and why should employees choose this? Well, the four salary components that are currently part of the salary package of our employees are the year-end bonus, the purchasing power bonus, seniority days and the mobility budget. Employees will soon be able to partly exchange these salary components to create a budget for their Flex Income Plan. In this way, they can better tailor their benefits to their own needs. And sometimes that is financially more advantageous than if they have it paid out via a gross premium.
We already saw Philippe has a bicycle lease, but this is just one example of the flexible interpretation of the salary package. Other options such as retirement savings repayment, health insurance repayment, five extra days of vacation and tablet purchases, for example, are all options that can be chosen in the FIP.
We are already looking forward to January 2022!
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