Commuters dread having to be on the road during the busiest times of the day. Simple solutions for your staff’s traffic woes include flextime and compressed workweeks.
Flextime: Simply set core hours that your staff must be in the office and then let them adjust their arrival/departure accordingly. A company might have core hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but staff can arrive as early as 8 a.m. and depart as late as 6 p.m., so long as they are present during core hours. Alternative work schedules provide your staff with the advantage of having flexibility with their commutes and the choice of when to use the roads
Compressed Workweek: Staff work more hours each day for fewer days per week. For example, staff might be permitted to work 10 hours a day and only 4 days a week, or staff might work 9 hours a day and take off every other Friday. Staff using compressed workweeks can save significantly on commuting expenses.
Numerous studies have shown that companies that allow their staff to work from home as often as 1 day a week experience huge boosts in productivity and employee morale. In addition, telework lets you reduce your need for office space and your utility bills too!
The key to telework success is creating a formal program that defines employee eligibility and expectations. Some companies might shift staff to teleworking full time while others might have staff work from home 1 day a week. It is also important to let staff know how they will be evaluated as teleworkers and what their responsibilities are. EmployerConnection can guide your company through the process of creating a telework program, from starting a pilot program to implementing a full-fledged telework policy.
Transportation Benefit Programs
Helping staff pay for their commutes on public transportation is another great benefit to provide to your staff. The IRS currently allows employers to provide up to $265 / month to staff as a tax-free benefit or for employees to receive $265 per month as a pre-tax benefit for their public transportation / vanpool costs. For employees, this provides a monthly stipend that significantly subsidizes their commuting costs. For employers, providing a fringe benefit like this can have considerable tax advantages. If your business is located near a TransIT stop or a MARC station, consider extending this option to your staff. EmployerConnection is here to show you what you can do to help your staff pay for their commutes!
While we’re used to having to look hard for a parking space at the supermarket or the mall, it shouldn’t be part of our daily experience at work. Overflowing parking lots aren’t just an annoyance - they’re also unsafe. However, EmployerConnection has some solutions for any company experiencing parking issues.
One simple way to cut down on the number of cars needing to park is to encourage staff to carpool or vanpool and reward them with the best spots! Consider setting aside certain spaces for your employees that register as carpoolers. Another option is to provide staff with a monthly stipend to pay them for their parking space. This “parking cash out” provides employees with an incentive not to drive and frees up precious space in your parking lot.
With recent winter weather events, we all understand that sometimes Mother Nature can keep us away from the office for long stretches. Along with the specter of the H1N1 flu affecting our workplaces, it is important for businesses to have a continuity plan should employees not be able to access the office.
EmployerConnection can help your staff develop an emergency preparedness plan that will ensure a continuity of operations for your company during an unexpected event. Whether you let staff telework or help form carpools to assist in an evacuation, EmployerConnection can provide the resources you need to keep things orderly and efficient.
Carpool / Vanpool Formation
The facts are simple. If everyone carpooled at least 1 day a week, we’d have 20% less traffic on the roads and employees would spend 20% less on their commuting costs. EmployerConnection is here to help you form carpools and vanpools that will help your staff achieve these great savings. EmployerConnection can come on site for an event at your worksite to find employees who live near each other and can carpool at their own convenience.
Vanpools are another great option for employees coming from 30 miles away or greater. TransIT Services of Frederick County offers its Vanpool Incentive Program that is designed to encourage the start up of new vanpools in Frederick County (either originating or terminating in the County) by funding a limited number of unoccupied seats. As the vanpool reaches peak ridership, the subsidy will be reduced. For more information about the VIP program, click here.
Biking to work is a great option because of the extremely low cost and inherent health benefits. EmployerConnection can help your company become a “bike friendly” workplace by creating policies that accommodate any staff that might bike to work. Consider letting employees who bike to work use on site shower and locker facilities. We can also connect you with companies that can install bike racks.