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Employee car parking drives career decisions

In comparison to the more “functional” or more sociable areas of the workplace, such as kitchens or canteens, the employee car park is basic and fundamental. Yet it can have major implications for the appointment and retention of staff as well as optimising business productivity.

Questioning the impact

A survey by Clearview Intelligence showed 37 percent of respondents had a daily commute of more than 30 minutes and upon arriving to work, two thirds could not guarantee access to workplace parking which increased their time in the car further. As a result, one third of drivers admitted having been late for work due to a lack of car parking whilst two thirds confessed it had presented challenges with arriving to work on time.

So, aside from the obvious, what do these statistics mean for businesses?

Arriving ten minutes late for work does more than impact on the clocking-in machine; it sets your employee’s mood for the day and in turn, their output levels. After circling car parks searching for a space, employees will most likely rush into the building angry and frustrated. Predictably, they will then rant about parking problems which will deduct more time from their work, disrupt colleagues and will put them in an agitated mood which will subsequently impact on productivity.

Contrast that with an employee who has benefited from car parking management solutions to be efficiently directed to an available space. Walking into the office calm and punctual, with time to get settled with a cup of tea before focusing clearly on the day ahead.

Steering decisions

Aside from the day-to-day disruption caused by a lack of spaces, car parking challenges can also impact on employee recruitment and retention. When considering a new role, the survey showed 78 percent of people would have their decision to take a job influenced by free employee car parking. Similarly, 71 percent said a lack of free parking, a walk of ten minutes of more or chargeable car parking would influence their decision to leave a role.

For employers, this can be the difference between employing a first or second choice candidate or retaining or losing a valuable member of staff. So, what can be done to mitigate against these risks to entice and retain the highest caliber of candidates?

Reaping the benefits

Our figures show that free employee car parking is now considered a benefit, so employers need to capitalise upon that. Adding simple solutions such as car parking guidance and signage can be of immense benefit to employees who want to avoid the hassle of circling for spaces whilst frantically clock watching. But don’t just take our word for it; 75 percent of respondents agreed they found car parking signage helpful.

Depending upon the needs of employers and employees, solutions can vary from simple in-and-out counts to ‘zonal’ counts or bay sensor monitoring. This data can then be used for multiple purposes, benefitting both the employer and employee.

For staff, being notified of where there is availability removes the frustration of circling for spaces or if at capacity, will save them the time of searching a car park to no avail.

For employers this information can identify peak times in car park usage and understand when it is at capacity. It may be that employers are unaware of this information or could create the opportunity to introduce policies to alleviate strain on the facility. Offering shift patterns to avoid bottlenecks or perhaps guaranteeing spaces to employees who lift-share could relieve capacity and encourage more environmentally-friendly commutes.

With so many of our survey respondents highlighting the importance and benefits of employee car parking, employers should not underestimate its value. Instead of viewing it as a tarmacked area utilised when staff arrive and leave work, it should be seen as the first and last impression of the business and the beginning and end of the employee’s workplace experience.

Author: Jemma C |Date Published: May 2019

Links: Parking

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