Joost Blatter and Niels Peereboom are responsible for the product strategy of Toogethr. In this blog they observe the trends in mobility, what these trends entail for Toogethr’s mobility platform and how this results in more happy users.
Joost noticed two clear developments. ‘On the one hand you see people wanting to go about mobility more flexibly. The freedom to choose how to go to work every day again, has become very important. We are no longer in the daily grind we used to be in when we went to and from work in the same way at the same time every day. The world of mobility has become more flexible and more dynamic. Where you work and how you get there can be different every day.’
‘On the other hand, you see start-ups and scaleups booming around smart buildings,’ Joost continues. ‘Making reservations for workspace, meeting space or parking space, predicting the number of people coming to the office today, a smart building thinks along with you and becomes a little smarter every day.’ The trend we see is that the mobility issue – the commute - cannot be separated from the workspace issue. These worlds overlap. A significant part of it has to do with predictability: Is there a work space available for me, how can I get there in a way that feels good to me and if I commute by car, is there a parking space available? By implementing artificial intelligence and based on the number of reserved workspaces and meeting spaces, you can predict how many parking spaces are needed for both the employees and the guests. How to optimally link those two worlds is something we are currently testing.’
Niels: ‘With our apps we continuously anticipate the developments. For example during the corona crisis we launched our biking app Cycles, our third mobility app. Currently we are setting up a shuttle service so you can still choose public transport even if your workspace is not easily reachable by public transport. Also, by working on linking with smart buildings, we bring the world of mobility and the world of work together more effectively. Our dream is to not only offer a complete mobility platform, we also want to provide a platform that brings about a certain behavioural change within our employees. We therefore work on enhancing our platform on a daily basis. Of course, within fifty years from now we will have flying cars and hyperloops, but behavioural change is something of all times. We prefer working on it today. If you work with the Toogethr-platform, you should be happy. That will also benefit the employer.’
‘Talking about behavioural change,’ Joost adds. ‘People –or should I say: the Dutch—easily fall back into old patterns. If we do not do anything, I expect that as soon as there is a vaccine, the world of mobility and work will look just like it did before. Fortunately, many organisations, especially the big corporates and governments, come up with policies to stick to traveling and working differently.
Niels has a slightly different opinion but is equally optimistic. ‘I expect that thirty percent of the people will embrace working flexibly, and the others will fall back. But let’s be honest: that is a huge win. We saw that working from home works just fine, the productivity did not necessarily drop. Many employers regard that as an opportunity and they grab it. In that sense, the corona crisis has created leeway, people can plan their lives more flexibly and become a lot happier because of that. With that I add to what Joost started to say: the world—in general and that of mobility in particular—has become a lot more flexible and dynamic. And with our platform we respond to that perfectly, no wand in the future.’
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