A Smarter Way of Working
Updated: Dec 10, 2018
More & more people are commuting or travelling internationally for work. However, the pressures of getting work completed to a deadline remain. How can you fit both in without it affecting the precious time you save for private life.
The different methods of commute, business travel and the pro's & con's Starting with what I believe is the perfect blend of travelling while working. The chauffeur car service ticks all the boxes for flexibility, comfort, privacy, work accessibility and value for money.
1. The Chauffeur
Noted the more pricey way to travel (pound per mile) but worth every penny. Sadly a chauffeur can be under valued as a service and gets confused with a Taxi service. A chauffeured service is not 'posh taxi', it is not just about the car or a suited driver. It is about quality of service and discretion. A chauffeur car is a long wheel based saloon or executive people carrier which provides and offers considerable leg room to stretch out. The in car wifi or in some instances battery pack chargers & adaptors mean the traveller has everything they need to work and stay connected. As part of the service you can expect bottled water and sweets/mints to keep you hydrated on your journey. You can write emails, make calls or hold conference calls all within the comfort of the vehicle and all in complete privacy.
The downside is that a chauffeur relies on roads to travel. The number of road users has increased and traffic congestion is inevitable. However, unlike a bus or a train, a Chauffeur has the flexibility to take dynamic action to avoid traffic jams where possible. Plus, having travelled in a chauffeur car myself I can honestly say there are worst places to get stuck in traffic!
A chauffeur car service is completely flexible and tailored to the traveller. I was ecstatic on a recent trip to Twickenham to see first hand their wait & return service - it was hassle free travel like no other. I even liked that if you suddenly needed a comfort break or a last minute change in schedule the chauffeur will adjust the route accordingly. Leaving the traveller free to concentrate on what they need to, without worrying about parking, traffic or anything else. Yes, a little more than a taxi, but a whole lot more of a service. A chauffeured service from Cheltenham to London wait & return can cost from £300.00 and airport transfers from £95 each way. Bargain if you ask me!
2. Taxi Service
Some may say taxi's (or an Uber) are one in the same as a chauffeur. But in reality that is definitely not the case. A taxi service does provide the traveller with a car and a driver, but the quality on both can be poles apart from expectation. The goal of a taxi is to provide an A to B service in as quick a turn around as possible. It is more costly for a taxi company to travel long distance and for this reason, in some instances a taxi service can cost more than a chauffeur. The hackney licence requires the vehicles to be of a certain standard, but all too often (as I am sure you have witnessed yourself) this is overlooked and the taxi's can be of tired appearance and damaged. Where a taxi shines is that they provide A to B travel flexibly and at competitive prices.
The traveller can work comfortably in a taxi, but discretion may not be a primacy concern of the driver. Taxi drivers are encouraged to engage with the customer and talk to them about their day, offer 'small talk'. The opposite of what you need if you are trying to work. Taxi's are very flexible on routes to avoid traffic or pickup times / locations as it is in there interest to get you to where you need to be quickly. Unfortunately this means that if the traveller wanted to make a last minute schedule change then it would be possible, but could be costly. If you are looking for a cheap, reasonably flexible travel then a taxi is the way to go. Unfortunately they don't offer a wait & return service, so you will have to book two trips which from the Cheltenham area can cost from £120 each way. Airport transfers from the cheltenham area are from £70.
3. Drive yourself
Driving yourself is the cheapest and most flexible way to travel to anywhere. However, it can also be the most stressful; planning routes, parking, congestion and not to mention being the last thing you want to do after a long meeting or travel.
Driving yourself make working on route an almost impossibility. You can make phone calls through hands free, but you cannot make notes, send emails, read messages etc.
4. The Train / Tube
This is by far one of the most popular ways to travel to work, meetings, airports or long distance commutes. But does that mean it is the best?
Trains & the subway provide flexible timetables, are quick and avoid all the road traffic. They also offer toilet & food facilities and comfortable places to work on route. That is if you can find a seat!
The tube is very flexible and well priced meaning commuters and travellers alike can wiz across the city in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for train commutes which has seen sharpe increases in fares. The reliability of trains has also been brought into question recently with increased delays, change in routes and mechanical failures leaving travellers high & dry. Ideal way to travel and work at a reasonable cost with some element of flexibility, but trains / tube don't offer the reliability that they used to. Trains from London to Cheltenham from £35 each way (off peak) or from £70 each way (peak).
5. The Bus / Coach
The bus can often be dismissed by some as being a glum way to travel which I think is a bit of a bad rep. I personally enjoy the bus, I find it brings back found memories when the local bus was the only way to travel. Todays buses are a sight of modern technology with free wifi and an array of methods of payment.
Although you would need it as it can get a bit pricey. My local bus route to Cheltenham costs a whopping £3.70 for a single. A couple of years ago it was just £3.20 for a return. Coaches are however, a little more reasonable with airport journeys costing from £18.00 each way. However, timetables are limited and you need to account for additional times for multiple stops and restricted travel routes. If a coach gets caught in traffic it cannot just change the route and travel down a country road to avoid. But they do offer clean, warm comfortable environments for work. But, you don't exactly get any privacy!
To help bring people back to this method of travel, companies have invested in new buses / coaches to provide extra stops or additional vehicles on existing routes meaning more flexibility. Well that is until they breakdown, arrive late/early or they miss the stop altogether. For those fans of 'This Country' there is a great scene where the bus driver chooses not to stop for Kurten & Kerry. I am sure I am not alone when I say we have all experienced this at some point in our lives. Not so much of a problem in towns or cities where the next one will be along in 10-30 minutes, but sadly that is not the case in villages where that may be the only one of the day.
It is noted that in todays society cycling is the most preferred method of short distance travel or commute, especially for the larger cities. It is a great way to cut through all that traffic congestion, keeps you fit and as the doctors keep telling us, exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It is also one of the cheapest ways to travel and offers a lot of flexibility that public transport perhaps cannot provide.
Not ideal for those of us who wear a suit unless your company is fortunate to provide shower facilities, and if you live outside the city centre areas then cycling can hold its dangers on some of the fast A-roads. You may reduce stress whilst commuting, but what happens when you get into the office and see the work piling up? Is the stress relief short lived?