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Changing times - workplaces or workspaces and the implications for parking

Technology is affecting everything around us. Noticeably in the Intelligent Transport Systems sector where there is constant talk around driverless vehicles at the moment.

Whilst autonomous vehicles will drive change in the way road networks and cities across the globe will work, there is a similar step change occurring in the workplace, still based on technological innovations, but the impact is on a personal level and affects how we will work together in the future.

The days of working a steady 9-5 at a desk are long gone for many of us already, but the essential basics of having your own 'desk at work' at a regular daily location are now being challenged by the change of the workplace into one of a workspace.

As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in our personal and business lives the ability to work from any location is driving a change in the way offices are used. Onsite facilities are increasingly changing to be able to cope with the transient nature of the employee.

To cope with these new demands many companies are now considering how to move away from individually allocated desks or offices to shared workspaces with collaborative areas and hot desking.

Workspaces apply to all industries

The lead on this kind of thinking came out of the technology sector, such as Google's famous California head office where they employ a Chief Happiness Officer whose role is to ensure employee happiness is maintained. This is not done through some fluffy idea that the company just wants to be seen as a 'nice employer' but through hard-nosed realisation that a happy employee is a more productive employee. And this 'happy equals productive thinking' is not just within the tech sector but is being applied across all industries.

And it stands to reason that this thinking should stretch to the employee's journey to work, and so include their experience in the company car park.

With the increasingly mobile and transient nature of the workforce, the car park (and/or surrounding roads) are getting busier and in use more frequently through the day. But if the parking facilities are not being managed or the users are not being sent to where the spaces are in an efficient manner, the risk is that a company could have a very frustrated employee coming through the door, and on a regular basis too.

Poor parking is in direct conflict to creating a happy employee

So it makes economic sense that Facilities and HR Managers should be considering and planning their car parking needs, thinking through who will likely use it, when will they need the space and what planning needs to happen to allow booking or allocation of use.

As a result, modern parking solutions need to be more flexible to cope with the changing employee needs and should be considered as an equally important element of the workspace. This means they require efficient management with a close understanding of how it operates to ensure there is little detrimental effects on morale and therefore productivity.

Find out more on how National Grid included car parking efficiency in their CSR strategy here.

Author: Andrew R |Date Published: November 2016

Links: Parking

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