Innovative ‘Green Bonus’ encourages employees to leave car at home

We have introduced a Green Bonus for employees to encourage them to leave their car at home and come to work on foot, by bicycle or public transport.

“We just felt the need to do something and make a difference, so introducing the Green Bonus and encouraging our employees to walk or cycle to work seemed like the right thing to do,” says Chaz Brooks, Creative Director of CBC. “But the great thing about it is that the whole team has taken it on board and made it into the success that it is now.”

Previously, all CBC employees had to drive at least 7 miles to the office, since then, the company moved to an in-town location and a Green Bonus has been introduced to encourage CBC employees to walk or cycle to work. Now 3 people walk to work, two cycle 3 miles and two work remotely and visit the office occasionally. This has saved an estimated 13,440 miles a year in car journeys just getting to and from work, not counting the normal business mileage which CBC now does almost exclusively by train as the station is only a 10 minute walk away. So by moving offices and encouraging staff to walk or cycle, CBC is keeping cars off the road by eliminating the need for a daily commute.

“If we don’t drive to work for more than three quarters of the month, we are rewarded with a bonus,” says Andrew Ball, Senior Account Manager at CBC. “At the old offices, staff were given parking allowances, but parking in central Guildford is neither easy to find, nor cheap so as most of us are very sporty anyway, walking and cycling sounded like a great plan to keep fit and have a much more relaxed and stress-free journey to work.”

The Green Bonus is just one aspect of CBC’s environmental-friendly policy, as they also print on scrap and old paper, only turn on half the office lights when needed (not at all in Summer), turn PC’s, printers and kettle etc. off and don’t leave on standby, recycle printer cartridges and give old sample products and spare paper to schools, and send surplus freebie gifts (such as pens) to schools in Africa (taken by hand by local MP to Eritrea).

“We try to be a micro example of a green office where we can,” says Chaz Brooks, Creative Director of CBC. “We strongly believe that even small businesses can and should make an effort to be as “green” as possible; after all it’s the little drops of water that make the mighty ocean.”

Does life really replicate work?

Some people will tell you that if you think positively and wish for something or visualise good things happening, there’s a good chance it will happen. I tend to feel there is some truth in this, and certainly think there is such a thing as karma, and phrases and philosophical thinking around ‘what goes around comes around’, and ‘do to others as you wish done to yourself’ certainly has some resonance with me and millions of others across the globe I’m sure. But, what about in working life, where surely you should apply the same school of thought and ethics, does it have the same effect for better or for worse? I can certainly say I don’t know anymore after my nightmare experience today, which has certainly seen life replicate work!

Let me explain… For the past couple of weeks we’ve been undertaking a project for one of our clients who have just had a YouGov survey commissioned to research people’s perceptions of the state of customer service in the UK today. Some of the results have been truly staggering, not least the fact that 76% of people surveyed said their main reason for calling customer services was down to the company they are dealing with making an error -a wrong bill, faulty product, missing parts etc. you get the idea. We’ve termed this ‘avoidable contact’ and started to think about this and been working really hard on angles and placing this as a story to the media and thought positively about it and put good thoughts out there that it will be a success. And as I’ve said already, positive thoughts lead to good things yes? Well, what should happen today as I’m working from home on that very survey project while I wait for my lovely new fireplace that I’ve spent a long time researching, not to mention money on and then waiting for to be delivered (3 and half hours after it should have arrived)… Yes, you’ve guessed it – IT’S TOTALLY THE WRONG ONE!!! AGGGHHH a perfect example of avoidable contact and terrible customer service I think all rolled into one! call it bad luck, call it karma, call it whatever, it’s totally annoying, frustrating, infuriating, yes I’m angry and yes I want to shout as someone, and so totally understand the results of the survey now why so many of us Britons feel undervalued and unloved by the companies we deal with… but, I’ll keep being positive as it’s just a karma blip and wait for the front page story that comes in tomorrow or my lottery numbers to come in this weekend.


Burning rubber, diesel, celebrity spotting (well one) and a PR meeting with new clients

All in a day’s, actually a morning’s work some may think for us PR people, but life, let alone work isn’t always as much fun, but I wish it was. I can certainly vouch that being taken round the historic Brands Hatch circuit in a Porsche GT3 with someone who’s raced Ferrari’s with Schumacher and rally cars with some of the best Scandinavian drivers of the past few years, that also happens to be a new client is a fantastic experience that I can thoroughly recommend… even if the adrenaline takes a while to die down in order to have a serious PR planning meeting. Nursing a cup of tea and waiting for the body to adjust back to not racing round the tarmac at speeds of up to 150 MPH, and before we had the meeting there was a little time to spot and then watch a certain Mr. Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker champ and aspiring motor racing champ take a few laps of the circuit in his turbocharged VW Jetta race car – some extra training we were told as he embarks on his next challenge in the Volkswagen Racing Cup. Then when normality finally surfaced itself it was time for lunch to get down to business and have the meeting and also help with some ideas for a corporate event for the client… the general consensus being to replicate what we did with them as a meet and greet networking tool. A chance for some prospective customers to get away from the office, relax a little and have some fun and learn a little more about what they do. Sounds perfect to me and if we can get a journalist along then I think we can get an invite along again too!!

“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage” (Henry Ford)

So what can we do to make the most of our time? Here are some thoughts from our Team Training on this very subject. We have found that these tips really do save those precious seconds, minutes and hours.

1. When do you feel your best during the day? Schedule your work to suit your state of mind, biorhythms or whatever at different times of the day or week. You could even try this link to check your biorhythms 🙂 :
2. Plan your week first and then your day. It will focus you…
3. Let other people know what your goals are! It’s much more fun…
4. Get small, urgent tasks (e.g dealing with voicemail) out of the way first (they must be urgent!)
5. Divide the principal tasks for the day into achievable blocks of work and tackle them one at a time according to importance/urgency. Ensure tasks are achievable
6. Do not allow work (particularly less important work) to take longer than it should. If ten minutes is all a job is worth, make sure it is done in ten minutes
7. Set realistic deadlines for all your activities and decide whether your deadlines are fixed or flexible
8. With longer-term projects, set interim deadlines, as well as a final deadline. Allow time for contingencies. The longer the project, the more contingency time will be needed!
9. Allocate some time each day to clearing the decks