Employers have plenty of moving parts to worry about when it comes to returning to the office. Everything from office capacity, to mask policies, to seating arrangements need to be carefully considered, and a plan needs to be put in place before employees start returning. Another, often overlooked concern for employees, is how they’re actually going to get to and from the office.
History, AKA pre-pandemic times, has taught us that too many people driving alone to the office is unsustainable for the environment and can be detrimental to the mental health of those individual drivers.Metropolises around the country were facing record commute times – even with the rise of mobility and micromobility options. Fortunately, with this gradual return to the office, employers have been presented with the opportunity to encourage positive commuting changes among their workforce. Luckily, employers don’t need to figure this out all on their own, there are organizations around the country that help employers make commuting easier for their employees.
Transportation management associations
Transportation management associations (TMAs) local groups that work with employers to help implement new commuting programs. They also work with local governments to make improvements and additions to local infrastructure. In this instance, we’re going to talk about how they can help you get your employees back to the office and encourage them to leave driving alone to work in 2019!
Depending on the individual TMA’s program offerings, members can take advantage of things like discounts on scooters or bikeshares, as well as guaranteed rides home. They also host events for individuals to learn more about commuting options in their area, and how to safely and effectively adopt new commuting habits.
Side note: here’s a great resource to help you find a TMA in your area!
The fresh start effect
The fresh start effect is a theory that says individuals are more likely to make a significant change to their life after a major event. A pandemic for example. Another element of this theory is that individuals are also more inclined to hit their new goals, and disassociate themselves with past performances.
Working with a transportation management association at this point allows you to take advantage of the fresh start that employees will experience when they begin returning to the office after more than a year at home.Because people haven’t been commuting the way they used to, adopting new commuting habits now is more plausible than ever. Not everyone can do this alone though, some individuals will need information and assistance to really make their new commute stick.
Working with a local TMA can help you gather necessary information and put new programs in place to help your employees make a permanent change when they do return to the office.
New commuting schedules
Most companies are opting for hybrid work schedules, meaning employees are expected to come in two to three days per week. As a result, there will be lots of changes, even on a week to week basis, to employees’ commuting schedules.
Working with a transportation management association during this time allows you to offer new benefits to your employees. Like we mentioned above, TMAs provide your employees access to a variety of benefits such as discounts on bikeshares and scooters. If you’re working to change how your employees commute, why not help them save money in the process?
TMAs also work with outside vendors and providers to offer their members access to new technologies. For example, TransitScreen – just off the top of our head. We work with TMAs across the country to help provide real-time transit information for many of their members. Knowing when the next Metro train is coming, or how many bikes are at the nearest dock, in real time, means flexible commutes are more manageable.