How Can You Help Employees with Transportation Problems?

Posted June 25, 2018

The length of a someone's commute is a major factor in their decision to accept or quit a job.

One recent study found commutes of 13 miles or longer increases the probability someone will quit a new job by 92 percent. While another recent study found a commute of between 0 and five miles causes employees to stick with their job for 20 percent longer. In addition to hiring and turnover, there are a number of other business issues related to transportation problems, including higher absenteeism, lower productivity and higher error rates.

Clearly, companies need to seriously consider any transportation problems for employees and put a comprehensive commuting policy into place to address these issues. Handling transportation problems on an individual basis can lead to charges of special treatment for certain employees.

Below are a few policies to consider for your organization's commuting policy.

Covering Commuter Costs

One of the most popular ways to address transportation problems is to incorporate commuting costs into compensation packages. Companies paying for public transit or monthly parking passes also show a greater appreciation for workers than companies that do not.

Some companies are also incentivizing their employees not to drive into work, often as a part of their mission to be responsible corporate citizens. For instance, some businesses offer employees payments equal to parking space costs if they choose to bike, carpool, walk or take public transit to work.

Flexible Work Options

Offering flexible work options has been a proven way to mitigate the impact a commute can have on employees. Flexible work options might include four 10-hours-per-day work weeks, flexible job starting/ending times and remote work.

In addition to addressing transportation issues, flexible work options can lead to significant savings. In 2009, Dell rolled out a flexible work plan and recent estimates showed the program led to several million dollars’ worth of savings each year since it began.

"(The program) helps empower team members to do their best work -- whenever and wherever that may be," the tech company has said about its flexible work program.

Proximity Incentives

To address transportation problems of its employees, Facebook has taken a particularly unique approach in the past: Offering a $7,000 yearly bonus for employees who choose to live within a mile of its headquarters.

Given the tens of thousands of dollars typically associated with turnover costs, Facebook offering this incentive actually makes good business sense. Having employees live within walking distance also made it easy for them to stop by any time they came up with a new idea or solution, which may have translated into billions of dollars’ worth of innovation.

Ride-Share Solutions

Some companies are looking to ride share companies like Uber and Lyft to address the transportation problems of their employees. While ride share companies have yet to offer comprehensive commuter solutions for employers, that doesn’t mean companies can’t look to use ride sharing as a means to address commuting issues.

At Ambassador Personnel, we support all our clients in their various employee initiatives. Please contact a full-service staffing firm today to find out how we can support the success of your organization and its staff members.