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9 ways employers can improve commuting woes

By Fi Darby | 07 October 2019


A good employer understands that a happy workforce is a productive one but finding out what makes your employees tick can be tricky. One relatively easy and effective way of encouraging your workforce is to make commuting to work easier for them. 

It makes sense to remove some of the stresses and financial costs around the daily commute. This will help your employees arrive to work more relaxed and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

Not only that, you will reap the benefits when it comes to recruitment and talent acquisition. As far as employee benefits goes, helping out with commuting really is a no brainer. SkillsTalk look at different ways to improve commuting woes.

9 different ways to improve commuting woes

  1. Talk to your employees.
  2. Be understanding.
  3. Facilitate flexible working patterns.
  4. Set up a bike to work scheme.
  5. Find ways to encourage lift sharing.
  6. Offer benefits for those who walk to work.
  7. Set up a transport information hub.
  8. Offer financial incentives.
  9. Offer online training options.

1. Talk to your employees.

By far the best way to assess the impact of commuting to work is to talk with your employees. A recent HILDA report revealed that employees with a long commute were less satisfied and more likely to consider leaving their jobs within 12-months than those with a shorter commute. Not all experiences are the same and opening up discussions has to be one of the best ways to improve commuting for all concerned.

2. Be understanding.

The late arrival of an employee can be at best annoying and at worst incapacitating. However, as a boss it is your responsibility to understand travel situations and keep a keen eye on ways to improve commuting experiences. Commuting is an issue that affects most people at all organisational levels and it is best practice to see the most effective solutions for the best results.

3. Facilitate flexible working patterns.

flexible working arrangement

The average time Australians spent commuting to work rose by 22.7% (59.9 minutes) between 2002 and 2017. The introduction of flexible working patterns can help save this time. 

With improvements in technology and an organisational approach that facilitates flexible working options, by adopting this approach you could well find yourself with a far more motivated workforce.

4. Set up a bike to work scheme.

Cycling, especially urban cycling, isn’t for everyone but it can improve commute times, exercise levels and workforce wellbeing. Some employers go as far as providing a fleet of bikes for employee use but there are a number of other ways you can encourage cycling to work as a way of improving commuting.

Cycle to work schemes offer loans for cycling equipment. Payment for these loans provides a tax incentive because they can be made from gross salaries. Employers can also encourage cycling by providing storage facilities, installing showers and creating online cycling communities. Cycling to work may not make commuting to work quicker but it will almost certainly make it a more enriching experience.

5. Find ways to encourage lift sharing.

Australians love their cars - so much so that in 2012, 78% travelled regularly to work in private motor vehicles. The growing popularity of the car obviously adds to traffic congestion and pollution levels.

Lift sharing schemes encourage people to fill their empty car seats and speed up journeys by giving access to T2 and T3 lanes. They also help to solve car-parking problems at company sites. Lift sharing can be encouraged through a company sign-up scheme and designated multi-person parking spaces.

6. Offer benefits for those who walk to work.

Commuting to work by foot is not possible for everyone but offers similar benefits to cycling. Employers can support walking to work by offering changing and showering facilities, encouraging walking groups and ensuring flexible working practices.

One other way to improve commuting by foot is to celebrate walk-to-work successes and encourage participation in national days such as Walk to Work Day

7. Set up a transport information hub.

train going through harbour bridge

You can remove some of the strain of commuting to work by providing a central information point for transport and travel queries. Worries about travel grow as the working day progresses and this can impact on performance. As well as providing ticketing and route information, a workplace transport hub can feed staff information on road traffic, rail performance and predicted delays.

With this information to hand, flexible-working opportunities can become targeted. For example, if an accident has closed a main road, those using that route could opt to either leave earlier or work later depending on their after-work commitments.

8. Offer financial incentives.

If commuting to work using traditional means isn’t working for you or your employees consider providing financial or holiday incentives to those who regularly adopt alternative travel methods. Ultimately, there will always be a core of employees who wish or need to use their own cars. Offering incentives is one way to encourage your workforce to try new commuting methods and find out what suits them.

9. Offer online training options.

Making the most of training opportunities can become very difficult for employees who experience the daily grind of commuting to work. Employee development in the form of training is important for workforce satisfaction, skills improvement and talent retention. 

One tried and tested way to solve the problem of finding time for training is to facilitate enrolment in online training courses. These can be studied at home, fit neatly into flexible working patterns and start benefiting an organisation as soon as training begins.

Interested in making workplace improvements?

Upskilled is one of Australia’s most popular Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and offers a range of flexible online courses, making it possible to study while you commute to work. 

If you want to improve the way you work when managing a business and need the skills to implement policies to boost employee morale, check out Upskilled’s range of management and business courses. Get in touch today and find out more on how online study can benefit you and your career.
 
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