By Andrew Sanders, Finance Director at Sage
Why on earth would you give up a comfortable, safe Volvo for commuting in and out of work where you are pretty much guaranteed a parking space, you don’t get (too) wet and the traffic is ok, especially as you are travelling out – and not in – to the City. Give up in favour of taking the bus and LUAS. Give up control? Eeek!
Well I decided to do exactly this. For a month – at least.
So what prompted such a well-balanced, professional individual in a senior leadership role to take the ludicrous step of commuting by public transport? Have I gone mad? Maybe…
The prompt was an email on 8 May from Sage Technologies asking if anyone wanted a Bus/LUAS ticket – quote “Please can you email if you need a Bus/Luas ticket bought for month of June” Normally that means hit the delete button – but for some reason I was intrigued… and clicked on the taxsaver link and read. And thought. Discussed it with my wife and kids (who already knew I was mad) who told me of the error of my ways. As usual I thought I knew better. So the question remains – But… WHY?
Firstly. Now I have to say at this point that I do have an ulterior motive. As the Exec accountable for Facilities, I am challenged to see how we can grow the business (and the resultant employee growth – I mean the number not the waistline) without growing the facilities we need to support them. It is about growing the revenue by X% whilst growing costs by half of X% so we grow profit by two times X% or something like that. And in fact our facilities are a significant cost to the business – something just under 10% of our revenue is spent on rent, rates, lighting, heating and so on. So what? Well, it’s in our best interests to reduce costs on facilities – and yep, that guaranteed parking space costs the company money.
Secondly, and this is a value rather than anything else, I am proud to be environmentally aware. I recycle, I drive defensively (as any good Volvo driver does of course), buy A rated white goods and don’t buy air freighted fruit and veg if I can help it. Oh and I care about the Ozone layer and world hunger and eliminating mosquitoes but I digress. So I want to make an environmental statement. In fact I was shocked to hear that in Sage Ireland at least the last person who took advantage of this left a month or so back – so in June I am the proud lone owner of a taxsaver ticket.
Thirdly – and no surprise here – I actually worked out that I would save a bucket load of money. When I take my daily commute and load up the costs (sorry to get technical here but I am taking the variable / direct cost savings) it comes to something like €160/month. That’s about €40 a week. Now the ticket I need costs (ticket price) cost me €124 – but – and here’s the great thing – the government give me back over half of that – so in actual fact it’s only costing me €60 net – or €15 a week. Wow! As a Finance Professional that really gets me going. An extra pony a week or a ton each month? Over a grand each year?
Well that’s why I’m doing it – but I wanted to share the experience. All the delays, the rain, the inside out umbrella, the puddle hopping, the misery… will it be worth it. I’ll let you know how it goes…!