Bubble innovation for effective working

Bubble innovation for effective working


Gareth Robins, EROAD director of analytics in discussion with Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Transport.

What does working from home really look like? In a not too distant past, the cranny nook or kitchen table were ideal, but it’s a different story now that there’s others in the household all competing for the same space.

EROAD staff are well versed in working from home using digital communication tools to connect with other colleagues and stakeholders in different timezones. This is because EROAD is a global company supplying technology that helps transport operators with automated compliance/fleet management, and supplying information that governments use for road funding or informing their decision making on transport networks.

The Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown has created some novel ways to minimise the background sounds of children asking for food, dogs barking, others asking ‘are you ready for a wine yet?’ or other similar catch-crys of working from home during these unprecendented times.

Gareth Robins has errected a tent on his deck, complete with couches, working desk and even an ergonomic chair. His two children have commandeered the kitchen table for their schoolwork, and his wife has set up a desk in the lounge. “This was an easier way to manage the four of us all working at home, but not getting on top of each other” said Gareth “Plus it means the only background to my presentations is bird-song, which is pretty cool for those on the other side of the world to hear”.

Gareth is the Director of Analytics at EROAD, heading up the team that identify  and supply transport network insights. EROAD limited international travel in early February. Prior to that, Gareth would regularly traverse the globe presenting these insights to universities, government research agencies and others keen to use EROAD’s technology to deliver safer, more productive roads.

As the world slowly closes down, the requirement for operating efficencies for transport operators is increasing, driving stronger interest in EROAD technology and insights. Gareth has adopted the #lockdownlook2020 in his approach to dressing for these, now online, presentations “Uber-comfortable business attire is how I’m describing it” says Gareth.

EROAD has been designated an essential service provider, supplying technology services that organisations like New Zealand Defence Force, St John New Zealand, the NZ Transport Agency, local councils, construction and courier companies rely on to manage their vehicle fleets and keep their staff safe. Over the past few weeks, EROAD staff transitioned to work from home locations, remaining in their immediate ‘bubbles’ and working from garages, sleep-outs, home offices and yes, even the kitchen table.

Steven Newman, chief executive officer says “I’m so proud of how our staff transitioned to new working environments. This has shown how committed we are in supporting all our customers, whether they be coping with change or busy delivering essential services during these unprecendented times. We may be separated in our own bubbles, but we’re all in this together”.

EROAD has also adjusted it’s logo to remind people that staying apart is the best way to stay safe.


EROAD’s director of analytics Gareth Robins, outside his temporary office with his children Adam (aged 14) and Emma (aged 12).




Sue-Ellen Craig
Director of Communications
ph: +64 21 577 685



  • EROAD believes every community deserves safer roads that can be sustainably funded. This is why EROAD develops technology solutions (products and services) that manage vehicle fleets, support regulatory compliance, improve driver safety and reduce the costs associated with driving.  EROAD also provides valuable insights and data analytics to universities, government agencies and others who research, trial and evaluate future transport networks. This data enables those who use the roads to influence the design, management and funding of future transport networks.
  • EROAD launched with the purpose of modernizing New Zealand’s paper-based road user charging system. By 2009 EROAD had introduced the world’s first nationwide electronic road user charging system and now around 46% of collected heavy vehicle road user charges in New Zealand are being collected using EROAD technology. By March 2019, this had delivered NZ$2.5B to NZTA for the sustainability of the NZ transport network. In the USA, EROAD introduced the first electronic Weight Mile Tax service (2014) and the first independently verified Electronic Logging Device service (2017).
  • EROAD (ERD) is listed on the NZX, and employs almost 300 staff located across NZ, Australia and North America.

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