People – Mobility
Commuting: a daily challenge
An important factor influencing employee satisfaction is how easy it is to commute to work, with lack of mobility becoming a growing concern for many employees as well employers.
Public transport (train, bus, metro, tram) is used by just 2% of the sector’s employees, compared to the Belgian average of 18%. The public transport system is not well-adapted to serve either the outlying locations of plant clusters and production sites, or patterns of work in the industry (shift regime, night work). About 35% of employees in the sector are on shift work, compared to a Belgian average of 15%.
This explains why three-quarters of employees use cars as their main means of transport (excluding carpooling) to get to work, a figure which is comparable to the proportion in the rest of industry but significantly higher than for the total workforce in Belgium (66%). An additional 7.5% of the sector’s workers use carpooling, far more than the Belgian average of 2.9%.
A number of chemicals, plastics and life sciences companies cooperate in offering dedicated home-to-work transport for their employees, with 33% of workers able to use transport organised and financed by their employer, compared with 22% for the whole of industry and just 12% for Belgium as a whole.
Just under one in ten (8%) of employees in the sector use their bicycles to get to work, making it the third most popular means of commuting in the industry, just behind the car and carpooling. Almost all (97%) of workers in the sector have access to changing-rooms and shower facilities at their workplace, and 88% to bicycle shelters. Road traffic safety for cyclists remains a matter of concern.