Want people back in the office? Make their commute better
A smooth drive can go a long way to endearing your employees.
By Nick Zamanov, Director of Business Development at Cyber Switching
Whether a company is on the back-to-office push or looking for hybrid options (which, by the way, is far more likely to stick), employees will likely have this same argument in their arsenal: the commute sucks.
It’s not the only reason to eschew office work, but it’s a strong one. Without those minutes or hours spent in transit, people have more time to relax, work out, and enjoy a good breakfast, all without the stress of the highway. Employees might come around, however, if you make their journey a little easier.
With a few driving incentives, you have a chance to not only encourage your employees back to the office but even make them look forward to it.
PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION
Driving takes money, maintenance, and time – three things that many 9-to-5ers don’t want to worry about. Create incentives that address issues like car maintenance, gas prices, or other compensation packages that reflect what drivers face. This may look like a carpool program or company bus that features WiFi and complimentary beverages and snacks. Employees will appreciate the simple joy of not being the one behind the wheel. Relaxing on a bus gives workers time to socialize with coworkers ahead of the workday or decompress after a long one. For drivers that are a bit further away where a bus ride is unavailable, consider offering a reimbursement credit or other gas compensation.
Is your office smack dab in the middle of downtown? Offer pre-tax parking benefits that can be used in nearby parking garages or discounted parking passes. Pre-tax cards usually span a variety of options, including bikes and other transportation modes. There are also other subsidies and credits to offer commuters such as discounted accounts for bike rentals and electric scooters, as well as local bus or subway passes. These give some of your employees options for their commute, making them feel like they are being catered to as well.
MAKE THE DRIVE COMFORTABLE
Most can appreciate a relaxing drive from the passenger seat, but many commuters are stuck in the driver’s seat with their bodies tense in a line of bumper-to-bumper brake lights. Long car rides wreak havoc on low backs and hips.
Provide your employees who are racking up miles with lumbar pillows to support their lower back, or cushions that will help better align their spine. To make the car rides even more comfortable, offer your team a discounted membership to a nearby yoga studio or chiropractor office. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to either prepare their bodies for the commute or correctly align and relax them afterward.
One thing that’s mandatory for a good-vibes drive is finding something worthwhile to listen to. For your team’s music fans, provide a digital music streaming service account. A platform like this would also be utilized by those who prefer to catch up on their favorite podcasts. Employees who prefer to listen to the latest true crime episode from home could instead prefer a mindfulness lesson. There are many apps that offer specific car-based variations, complete with breathing exercises and meditation sessions.
SUPPLY THE JUICE
Electric vehicles are set to see significant rates of adoption in the next few years, and those drivers will need EV chargers. Offering EV chargers to your employees has a number of benefits. You’d be providing a new level of convenience for the team, which is a leading factor in incentivization.
If your company goes down this route, your EV-driving employees will appreciate it, since there currently aren’t enough chargers to go around. While fast chargers are very trendy right now, the most common way to charge an EV is through a home charger. And right behind them are workforce chargers. Letting employees charge at work frees up the time they would have spent letting the EV charge at home, allowing them to potentially run more errands or do more activities without the fear of range anxiety. Your team can also save money charging in the office and reduce those high at-home electricity bills. Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), offering incentives like free EV charging rewards your team members for making sustainable choices that better the environment. Not only does it make them feel better about coming into the office, it illustrates your company’s dedication to both the planet and your employee well-being. That’s a win-win.
THE DRIVE CAN BE WORTHWHILE
No one likes traffic, but there are benefits to working in person. Going into an office gives people a chance to engage with coworkers, build relationships, and collaborate in ways remote work doesn’t allow. But even the trendiest, most collaboration-friendly workspace can’t make up for the transportation issues most commuters face. To retain top talent and show employees that you value their time, you’ll need incentives that address the discomfort and inconvenience of the commute. Offering alternative transportation options and improving comfortability are just a few ways you can make the drive a little smoother for your employees.
About Nick Zamanov
Nick Zamanov is the Director of Business Development at Cyber Switching, the EV technology pioneer. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space. Since his early days as an EV enthusiast in 2012, Nick has strongly believed that electric vehicles would eventually replace Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars. Prior to joining Cyber Switching, he founded and exited several E-commerce and SaaS startups, including Procolors, Amplefind, and Berry’s.