Findings from survey of travel at the Department of Mathematics 2018
To get an overview of travel habits at the Department, we sent a survey to all employees. We asked the respondents to report their travels in 2018.
90 (of approximately 140) employees have responded. Travel is important to the work at the Department, but may reply that they would like to use video conference equipment if this is available and working well.
Several respondents wish to use more trains for travel, both because it is more comfortable than planes and also with regards to the environment. This is particularly useful for travel within Norway and also for shorter trips in Scandinavia. The respondents report that at least 53 plane trips could have been replaced with other means of transportation and at least 12 trips could have been replaced by using video conference. Generally the enthusiasm is large when it comes to changing travel habits, and the most important reason to choose airplanes are long distances and long travel time. Several employees are already using video conferences in their daily work, and several respondents report that they have replaced plane trips with alternative transportation in 2018.
Based on the respons to the survey, we see that the following items affects the choice of using plane travel where the respondents want to use other transportation or video conferences:
- Temporary employees do not usually get their own laptop. this makes it harder to have video conferences etc.
- Video conference is too hard/has too low quality/demands a lot of technical work and help from IT/concerns that the do not work/not sufficient functional space to conduct such conferences.
- Train takes too long/has too many train changes.
- It would be ok with night train, but when you have to use day train, it becomes difficult.
- Difficult to book train/bus through Egencia
- Difficult to compare prices for train/bus with plane trips via Egencia
- Train is too expensive and UiO does not cover the extra costs.
- Train takes longer, and it is unclear if UiO thinks it is OK, because it may affect the possibility to be present for teaching and meetings (for example).
Rooms for video conferencing at the Department is almost ready. The IT-department will let us all know when they are operational. This system is supposed to be simple and flexible and will make it unneccesary for employees to use own office/laptop for video conferences (if you do not prefer to do so).
The recommendations to the management at the Department:
The Department management should address the Egencia-problem through the proper channels and work to achieve that UiO's travel agent makes it as easy to book train/bus as planes.
The Department management should address the fact that UiO should try to affect existing rules for travel in work hours for government employees in a more sustainable direction.
The Department management should consider train/bus travel and the time it takes, and evaluate when the difference between price of train and plane can be covered by the Department (this is most important for travel on small budgets). Plane is still covered when train/bus would be cheaper.
The Department management should develop regulations (regarding time and price) for employees that wants to travel by train/bus.