In the most recent GNC podcast, Todd talked about an article from BBC which asked if responding to corporate email during the daily commute counted as work. That reminded me of a company that I used to deal with which always encouraged its consultants to travel to customer sites by train and paid for first class travel too. I thought this was a great perk as the company I worked for wasn’t so generous.
However, after a few beers will new colleagues one night, I discovered that this wasn’t quite as caring as it sounded. What was happening was this….
Say the consultant was travelling to visit client A on-site for a day’s work. Travel time was charged at half the normal hourly rate. But while travelling in first class, the consultant was expected to do (paper) work for client B, which could then be charged at the full hourly rate. An hour of travel time became the equivalent of one and half hours of work time.
As the consultants were being charged out at GB£120 per hour, travel time was a good earner for the company. Now do you think commuters should be paid for work email?