Case Studies

Changing commuting habits for good

acQuire believe they have a social responsibility to improve the lives and health of their employees and the health of the planet.

Because of this, acQuire offers all employees a daily commuter allowance for each day they don’t drive to work. Popular ways of getting to work include running, walking, cycling, utilising public transport, or carpooling.

acQuire uses the ADAPT by Design method to engage and align their people. ADAPT helps businesses to grow in a way that is both sustainable and faithful to their purpose and values. They help embed lasting change using a data-driven, step-by-step approach.

ADAPT believes that all areas of a business are interdependent and have identified eight areas of focus called Successions. These include Leadership, People, Culture, Stakeholders, Architecture, Product, Financial Security and Ownership.

The commuter allowance is an initiative under the Succession of People. The Succession of People aims to create teams of people who are highly capable, energetic and values aligned. It provides opportunities to instil happiness in the workplace and culture.

Originally brought in to solve the challenges around limited parking bays, the commuter allowance has resulted in numerous benefits to acQuire. Employees enjoy healthier commuting habits and feel engaged in the community and with the environment. Staff save money, are more active, healthy and less stressed, as well as doing their bit to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and harmful carbon emissions.

It is a trust-based system where employees record how they travel to work each day using a calendar on the company intranet. Employees receive $7 per day if they don’t drive to the office. Each month, the number of days are added up and this amount is added to the employee’s monthly salary.

Some employees opt to donate their monthly commuter allowance to charities supported by acQuire.

Employees share their stories

acQuire’s dedicated staff see the commuter allowance as a differentiator that sets the company apart, making them proud to work at acQuire and think about the greater impacts of their commuting choices. The allowance is an important element of the workplace.

Sebastien Merlet, a geoscientific data analyst at acQuire, said the option of the commuter allowance made the company more attractive as an employer.

“I decided to join acQuire for various reasons – the company’s great culture being one of them. The commuter allowance was an example I gave to my friends and family as proof of the good culture.”

“As soon as I started to look for an apartment in Perth after joining the company, I took the commuter allowance into account by looking at how close public transport was: I was very enthusiastic about it.”

Sebastien said the allowance still has a positive effect on the way he feels and on the time it takes to get to work and back.

“Filling out the commuter allowance app every month makes me feel good. Beyond the financial incentive, there’s always this hint of pleasure to see the green days on the commuter calendar and the beneficial contribution to the environment. Almost five years later, I still feel good about filling out the calendar.”

“My commute consists of going from home to the train station, taking the train for about 20 minutes, then going from the train station to acQuire’s office in Applecross.”

“I tried various ways to make the trip as quick as possible and ended up choosing a kick scooter to go from home to the train station, and from the train station to the office. By doing this, I get to work in about 35 minutes, where using my car can take 45 minutes to one hour in the morning traffic.”

Marianne Broadgate, a researcher at acQuire, spends more time with her daughter because of the commuter allowance.

“I feel the company actively caring and wanting me to drive less, is more powerful than the actual payment. I find it’s too easy to take the car here in Australia and so the commuter allowance does tilt me over to cycle on days when I may otherwise just take the car. It means I have set my life up to cycle rather than drive. Not only does that mean that I cycle, but so does my daughter as I drop her off at school on the way.”

Marianne appreciates the incentive and sees it as a tipping factor to make her behaviour more environmentally friendly and community focused.

“It changes mindsets and behaviours fundamental to engendering systematic and societal changes that are hugely beneficial to people, community and the environment. It also helps employees feel nurtured by their company which breeds engagement and loyalty.”

Meesha Stacker, a marketing executive at acQuire, also saw the allowance as an attractor in terms of choosing a new employer.

“When I applied for a position at acQuire, the commuter allowance was an attractive initiative that stood out at the company (one of many). Even though it’s a nominal daily amount, it adds up throughout the year as extra money and you feel good about it.”

Meesha said the effect doesn’t wear off and it still influences her daily commuting decisions.

“After nearly four years with the company I do still travel to work more by car, however when I can, I will take public transport or ride my bike. Having the commuter allowance there certainly makes me think about and try to use alternative transport means more than if the initiative wasn’t in place.”

acQuire’s commuter allowance is not just available to employees based in the Australian offices. It is a global company initiative. acQuire has seven offices around the globe and all employees can access the allowance. It reflects acQuire’s approach to sustaining a one company model.

About acQuire

acQuire Technology Solutions is an employee-owned company originating in Perth, Western Australia.

In 1996, acQuire launched Geoscientific Information Management (GIM) software solutions for the natural resources industries, focusing on exploration, resource development and mining assets.

Due to an ongoing commitment to excellence, acQuire reinvests 20-25% of their annual revenue into research and development. The company currently employs over 100 staff working in seven offices around the globe, with support centres operating in each major time zone. More than 450 sites benefit from acQuire GIM solutions.

Two Western Australian Industry and Export Awards in Digital Technologies and the C.Y. O’Connor Award for Excellence in Engineering and Technology were awarded to acQuire in 2016 for global technology and engineering innovation.