January 30, 2012

Travel to Work Survey Results

Filed under: General — dhiom @ 3:53 pm

The University of Bristol runs an all-staff ‘Travel to Work’ Survey every two years which is championed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor. The Greening Events II project team were able to add in questions about business travel and a specific section on ‘alternatives to travel’ to the survey in order to take advantage of the high response rate that the survey generally receives. The alternatives to travel section asked respondents about their use of virtual conferencing technologies and their attitudes to the possibility of making additional use of these in the future as well as any barriers that may preclude their use of these technologies.

  • 2,277 completed surveys online (41.4% completion rate)
  • 51  Paper returns
  • 54.6% (n1225) reported travelling as part of their job
  • 59% (n727) of that travel is by train, 20.6% (n254) using their own car and 8.5% (n105) by plane
  • Majority travel less than 6 times per year
  • Just over 10% travel more than once a week

Travel considerations – high priority:

  •  Timing (68.8%)
  • Convenience (58.9%)
  • Speed (49.1%)
  • Cost (47%)
  • Environment (18%)
  • Amount of accompanying baggage (14.9%)
  •  Health and Safety (13.4%)
  • Number of people travelling (11.5%)
  • Reputation/perception (3.7%)


Other factors:

  • Ability to work during travel, Distance, Childcare responsibilities, Flexibility, Lack of public transport, Health

Alternatives to travel

  • 58.1% (n 1310) not participated in any virtual meeting during 2011
  • Main reason given was ‘not invited to participate’ (977), followed by ‘never crossed my mind’ (250)
  • Lesser concerns: Difficulties in setting up the meeting (68), worries about effectiveness (65), losing networking opportunities (60), difficulties in operating equipment during meeting (53), enjoy time away from the office (35)
  • Other reasons included: not having facilities or knowledge, having no need to as part of role

Of 946 who had participated in virtual meeting during 2011:

  • Audio only conference most used facility (574), followed by instant message -MSN, Skype (386) and Videoconferencing (374)
  • Telephone most used technology (546), followed by desktop computers (406) and laptops (364)
  • 148 have used dedicated UOB videoconference suite
  • Senate House most used, small use of AGN suites and some additional facilities identified

Making more use of technologies in future:

  • 18.2% didn’t think it would be possible, 24.1% yes and 49.8% maybe (n=1020)
  • 24.2% wouldn’t want to replace meetings, 26.9% yes and 42.9% maybe
  • Main positive impact = reduced stress/time of travelling
  • Main negative impact = harder to judge emotions

Other comments included: conferencing facilities in UOB not publicised enough, rooms for conferencing needed in open plan offices, would like UOB to support Skype, still problems with the technologies

From the survey we identified 695 staff within the university who were interested in being involved in further research on virtual conferencing.  From this group of people we will be working with a pilot group of Schools and Departments to do further work with on ‘alternatives to travel’.

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