As our cities get bigger and bigger, getting to work is an increasing challenge for many people. Ideally public transport would be available for everybody however, due personal circumstances and location many employees have little or no choice but to take the car to work. This has made employee parking a real issue for many companies.
With the price of parking for staff often exceeding €4,000 a year, employee parking can become coveted and a real source of internal tension. Many prospective employees won’t even consider a job in a location which doesn’t have parking facilities to suit their needs.
This is putting great pressure on Facilities & HR professionals who are being left with the unenviable task of developing an “Employee Parking Policy” or “Staff Parking Policy”.
Spoiler Alert: The great news is ParkOffice is a world leading office parking management automation software which allows companies to:
- Increase employee happiness and retention.
- Maximise occupancy by parking cars when key staff are out of the office.
- Reduce administrative burden of parking management.
- Ensure your company is only paying for the parking spaces they need.
- Reduce your employees carbon footprint by allowing them to travel more responsibly.
The Old Way
Traditionally many companies have managed employee parking in one of two ways:
i) Assigned Spaces: The limited available spaces are assigned based on seniority or length of service. This often appeases senior & long-serving members of staff who are guaranteed a space. However, it doesn’t take into consideration what happens when assigned staff have used alternate travel, are working abroad, on holidays, out sick or are away from the office for any reason. The irony is that your senior staff are often the people who will be out of the office more often than other staff as these people are your leaders, closers and influencers who engage heavily with the outside world. This results in an average of 30% of your ‘limited spaces’ being empty at any given time.
ii) First Come, First Serve: The ultimate space race, if you arrive in time you’ll get a space. If your not tough luck. While this approach may have certain benefits it doesn’t work for the staff who actually need parking most. For the single female in her mid 20s who lives close by, taking the car to work might be a luxury and lifestyle choice. Getting to work for 8am to guarantee a space is easy when you’re young and single. However, what about the father with two kids living in the suburbs who needs the car to do the school run and is in a constant rush to make it to the desk for 9am. Who will appreciate the employee parking more?
Often companies operate a blended model of the above where key staff members are assigned spaces and it’s first come, first serve for the remainder.
What these simple models fail to grasp is that parking is complicated. Length of commute, young families, disability, health issues are all factors which need to be factored into the story when deciding how to maximise the efficiency of your limited company parking.
Often times progressive HR or Facilities Managers have looked to introduce new systems to try manage space more effectively. While these systems are a marked improvement, they often entail complex Excel sheets or cluttered WhatsApp groups which often become a job in themselves to simply manage. In the process solving some of the parking pain but ultimately becoming time intensive and expensive for companies to implement.
The Real Cost of Parking To Your Company
It’s vitally important for companies to get parking right, there are massive hidden costs to company parking across a broad section of business functions.
- i) The Real Estate Cost: There is nothing worse than paying for something and then only half using it. Parking spaces don’t come cheaply, the average cost of a parking space in Dublin city centre according to theHWBC Market Outlook coming in at €4,000.
If you follow the assigned spaces model. Let’s estimate that between meetings, holidays, illness, travel and remote work each parking space is empty on average one day a week. Your company would be paying €800 a year per space simply due to inefficient parking management.
- ii) The Employee Cost:Research from the University of Cambridge show long commutes have a really negative impact on employees. Longer commuting workers are 33% more likely to suffer from depression, 37% more likely to have financial worries and 12% more likely to report work-related stress. Alongside being more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation and obesity issues.
Happy and productive employees are key to every company and taking proactive steps to ensure that your staff can get to work is vital. The first place to start is to ensure that your company parking is benefitting as many staff as possible.
There is nothing worse for morale than an employee coming off the back of a long commute because they can’t afford parking walking into the office to see a half empty car park because half the senior management are traveling abroad with work.
Research by consultant Jeff Parks found that at “With a 30-45 minute commute, the probability of quitting jumped to more than 92 percent.” On average it costs 20% of an employee’s salary to replace them when you counter in lack of productivity, lag times, recruitment costs, staff interviewing time into the mix. Get ahead of the game and ensure staff are getting the benefits they really want.
iii) The Administrative Cost: Facilities & HR professionals are left in a catch 22 situation when it comes to parking. They either take a hands off approach and then spend hours dealing with unhappy staff who are constantly complaining about lack of parking or they go hands on and spend hours administrating complex manual processes.
Either way this is an unnecessary drain on your companies business which is costing you and your company money.
- iv) The Environmental Cost: Sustainability is an ever-increasing buzzword, with business gearing up to tackle one of the biggest issues of our time. Pledges to reduce carbon emissions are great but many companies often miss out on a hidden emissions which is doing serious damage.
According to leading parking academic Donald Shoup the average person drives around for half a mile (800m) looking for somewhere to park. That means each staff member without employee parking is emitting around 1,500lbs driving around each day simply looking for somewhere to park. That adds up to 20 trees a year!
What Should My Company Do?
The good news for companies is that the once daunting prospect of optimising your staff parking is being made much easier by technology. Automation has unleashed endless possibilities which allow companies to:
- Ensure 100% parking occupancy at all times.
- Reduce administrative burden.
- Improve employee happiness by increasing volume & frequency of staff parking in company spaces.
- Reduce your companies carbon footprint.
- Save up to 50% on your companies annual parking bill.
ParkOffice is leading the charge with globally recognised clients like Colliers & Europcar, ParkOffice is rapidly automating office parking management across the world.