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#ikreisslim: Roel Janssen about working smart

Roel Janssen, Executive Secretary at Dolmans Landscaping, talks about his experiences of working smart, logistics and Maastricht Bereikbaar.

"It is important that company management embraces this initiative which then in turn encourages employees to do the same." 

"Dolmans Landscaping is an all-round gardening and tree care business with offices in Bunde and Maastricht. We have been involved with Maastricht Bereikbaar for quite some years now with the aim to reduce our CO2 emissions. Each day more than 200 of our employees operate approximately 80 of our vehicles, mostly departing from our two locations in Limburg. These company vehicles are required to transport tools and materials, and of course the employees themselves.

It’s incredibly challenging for a company like ours to reduce the amount of journeys made during peak hour. However it is possible for us to work smarter and more efficiently and we want to continue to make an important contribution to the goals of Maastricht Bereikbaar.

Working smart

Travel alternatives to commuting by car are the least attractive option for our employees. Most of our staff must be present at our respective offices at 07:00 in order to prepare their vehicles and depart for their work locations for the day. Arriving by public transport at this hour is usually not possible, this is also due to the location of our offices. Using the motivating argument of “extra exercise” to encourage staff to cycle to work is also not well received, as our team generally carry out physically demanding work all day and do not look forward to a longer, more challenging journey home. Twelve of our office staff work smart, they work at least one day a week outside of normal office hours or they work the whole day from home. We’re looking to offer this option to our staff at our other locations in 2017.

Planning more efficiently

At the end of last year an intern from Maastricht Bereikbaar researched how we could possibly travel more efficiently. It transpired that if we take into account the competencies of employees and the distances of their commute (both work-home and work-site location) we can achieve substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and expenses.

A student from Maastricht University has taken over this research. He is developing an Excel-based tool that we can use to quickly determine which employee should be placed at a particular work location to keep journeys made during peak hour to a minimum.

Encouragement from management

To actually achieve these plans the company management team – directors and project managers – must be open to new ways of working and commuting, which in turn encourages staff to embrace the changes. Flexibility in thought and action is a necessary prerequisite for success!”