While much of our work is carried out remotely, from time to time you may need or want to travel for work, for example to meet a client, for training or an event, or for a team away day.
This section tells you all you need to know about traveling for work. Please note, this refers to travel that’s required as part of your job, but it doesn’t cover your usual commute, if you have one.
Sustainable modes of travel
When it comes to transport, we encourage all Wholegrain team members to keep travel distances to a minimum and use the most eco-friendly form of transport available.
Inner city travel
If you’re traveling within London or another city, follow this priority order:
- Walking – This is often one of the quicker ways to get around, is healthy and eco-friendly. Follow the green cross code!
- Cycling – London’s Santander bikes, which we provide free of charge for all employees. If you don’t have a key for the Santander bikes, you can simply pay for access and submit an expense claim for the cost, or ask for a key. And please wear a helmet.
- Public transport – Tube, train or bus (you get the idea)
- Taxi – If really necessary. We recommend trying to hail one of the new electric Black Cabs for the best combination of safety and low emissions.
Long distance travel
For traveling longer distances, please adhere to the following priority order:
- Train – This is the preferred option for keeping emissions low and can be a great experience, as well as offering the opportunity to get work done while traveling long distances, both in the UK and within Europe
- Car – Traveling by car is acceptable in cases where the train is genuinely not a practical option.
- Boat – For international travel, some journeys may require traveling by boat. While large ships can be quite polluting, in general they are significantly more efficient than flying so are an acceptable option. However, do consider whether a cleaner option is available, such as taking Eurotunnel instead of a cross channel ferry.
- Flying – We have a blanket no fly policy, at least until such time that more environmentally friendly aeroplanes are available. For more information on the reasoning behind this, check out our article on Web Design Without Wings. We therefore will not cover the cost of plane tickets.
If your travel requires an overnight stay, we will cover the cost of accommodation. Please find a suitable hotel, hostel or other accommodation in a convenient location. We ask that you use your judgement to find a good balance of being safe, comfortable and good value relative to the location.
Once you have found a suitable option, double check the cost with a member of the SLT and then either make the booking yourself or ask for help making the booking.
If you’re required to travel for work, Wholegrain will cover the cost of your transport so long as it is not your usual commute.
For local travel, including taxis, you do not need to get approval for travel costs.
For long distance travel that exceeds £200, please double check the cost with a member of the SLT and then either make the booking yourself or ask for help making the booking.
Your own vehicle
If you’re driving in your own vehicle, in line with UK government allowances, we’ll pay 45p per mile up to 10,000 and 25p per mile for additional mileage beyond that. For simplicity, calculate the journey distance on Google Maps and submit it as an expense.
You must ensure that your vehicle is:
- Is safe and well maintained
- Has a valid MOT
- Has valid insurance that includes business use
If you need to rent a vehicle for business travel, please book the most environmentally friendly vehicle available (unless it’s prohibitively expensive). Ensure that the rental includes insurance to cover accidental damage. Double check the cost with a member of the SLT before booking and then either make the booking yourself or ask for help making the booking.
Food and drink
If your travels take you away from your usual city of work for a period that includes meal times, we’ll also reimburse the cost of your food and drink.
We ask that if you wish to be reimbursed for food and drink that you honour our vegetarian food policy and do not expense alcoholic drinks.
In terms of budget, there is no fixed daily allowance as we trust you to be sensible in feeding yourself healthily on a budget that is reasonable in respect to the local cost of living.
When making purchases or bookings for business travel, you have the following options available:
- Make the purchase using a company debit card if you have access to one
- Ask someone with a company debit card to make the purchase for you
- Make the payment yourself and submit it as an expense claim
Industry events can provide a fantastic opportunity for you to learn, get inspired and meet people who can be useful contacts for the business. We encourage you to find events that you feel will be valuable to support you in your role, your personal development and add value for the business. For example, this could include attending WordCamps, B Corp events or design, tech and sustainability related conferences.
You may attend as a speaker, volunteer or simply as a regular attendee to soak it all up.
If you find an event that you wish to attend:
- If the ticket is £100 or less, then you don’t need to ask for cost approval. Just check that time is available in the schedule and then go ahead and make the booking
- If the ticket is more than £100, simply drop a note to a member of the SLT to double check that we can cover the cost
Travel and accommodation will be covered as explained above.
Big Team Trips
In 2022 we organised a large team trip to Antwerp, which was a great success and there was much enthusiasm to share similar experiences in the future. To make such a trip happen, start by identifying which category of trip is appropriate as follows:
- A “social” trip which is self-organised by team members as friends and which is technically nothing to do with work, but which needs to organised so as to not cause problems for the business in terms of project scheduling, meetings etc
- An official “work” trip that is funded by the company
For option 1, simply double check your plans with relevant team members who may be impacted and get them to sign it off.
For option 2, follow these steps:
- Identify a person or small group of people who are want to lead the trip and who will take ownership of organising it
- Put together a proposal including:
- Dates (tentative)
- Modes of travel
- Estimated costs for everything that you need the business to support (e.g. travel, accommodation, workspace, some food etc)
- How you will maximise inclusivity for team members
- How you will minimise business disruption, especially for clients
- The business case
- Present your proposal to the Senior Leadership Team and get it approved in writing
- Announce it to the team so that it is “official”
- Book it and go!
This policy specifically relates to business travel, but for information on how we can support more environmentally friendly personal travel, see our Climate Perks policy