Review travel practices and use alternative means where practical
Travel comes at a financial, environmental and social cost to staff members. Reviewing travel is the first step to improving performance.
For many office-based Australian Government employees, occasional travel is an invaluable means of fulfilling government objectives. However, for more frequent long distance travellers, the time, financial and environmental costs may warrant a review of travel practices and consideration of alternatives. Fundamental considerations to reduce the costs and impacts of travel include: considering if the travel is necessary or whether alternative options would be appropriate; planning ahead to combine several trips; optimising the route; and avoiding multiple trips.
The costs of travel comprise more than just travel and accommodation. In considering the trade-off between travel and alternative forms of communication, entities should factor in employee time lost in transit and the significant time commitment required for air travel in particular. For high-frequency travellers, fatigue and time away from family are important work-life balance considerations not captured by financial analysis alone. In these situations, a larger investment in substitutes for travel, such as videoconferencing, may be justified.
|CHECK: Has your organisation identified its high volume travellers and reviewed the reasons for travel?|
Information and communication technology substitution for travel
Improvements in ICT and the progressively lower costs have made ICT tools an increasingly viable alternative to travel. Taking advantage of ICT to complement and replace some travel can generate significant environmental, cost and productivity benefits, particularly from the time saved and fatigue avoided. Many public sector entities and companies are using teleconferencing or videoconferencing, including web cameras, to facilitate business transactions. As detailed in the case study below, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has recently reviewed its travel practices and introduced videoconferencing equipment with positive results.
|CHECK: Has your organisation implemented teleconferencing and videoconferencing facilities as an alternative to travel?|
 It should be noted that some buildings might require certain water pressures for fire protection and water systems.
Previous: 5.3.2 Where to begin
Next: 5.4.2 What to focus on