Employers have found that providing commute choices to their employees improves their "bottom line." Here's how reducing employee commute trips benefits business.
- Reducing stress – Finding alternatives to driving alone to work can reduce employee stress and fatigue. Less stress and fatigue translates into better performance at work.
- Increasing employee satisfaction – Trip reduction programs increase employee satisfaction in a number of ways. For instance, having alternative work schedules gives an employee a guilt-free way to visit the doctor or attend a child’s baseball game. Many employees appreciate reducing the costs of commuting. People who share the ride to work report that camaraderie is an important benefit.
- Improving productivity – Employees who are given flexibility in their schedules feel better about their jobs and this increases productivity. In addition, people are more likely to arrive at work on time if they catch a bus, carpool or vanpool.
- Reduces demand for parking spaces – Fewer cars in your parking lot can free up spaces for customers and avoid the expense of building new parking facilities.
- Expanding labor pool – Not everyone owns a car or can work 8 am to 5 pm. Flexible schedules and support for ridesharing allow more people to apply for jobs and increases the labor pool from which to draw qualified candidates. An excellent telecommuting program can even draw employees from out of state.
- Being recognized as a "good neighbor" – When an organization takes action to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environment, people notice.
- Attracting and keeping the best employees – Trip reduction programs are often viewed by employees as a benefit and organizations can use them as a recruitment tool. Such programs give employers a low-cost method of reducing turnover and improving employee retention.
- Tax Breaks – The IRS allows certain commute trip elements like transit passes to be paid for by an employee using pre-tax income which equates to lower payroll taxes. Tax-free fringe benefits allow employers to offer employees monetary incentives as well. Employers and property managers who also provide commute trip reduction programs incentives to or on behalf of their own or other employees are eligible for a credit against their business and occupation (B&O) tax or public utility tax (PUT) liability.
-Business Benefits section adapted from
“Business Benefits of Commute Trip Reduction,” WSDOT, August 2002