WHAT TYPES OF FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS CAN I OFFER TO EMPLOYEES TO MAKE COMMUTING EASIER?
More and more, companies are looking towards flexible work arrangements to assist workers with their everyday means of travel. Listed below are options for employers to ease the daily commute.
Many employees now find that personal computers with Internet links, home fax machines and other innovations in home office technology make it easy for employees to work from their homes. Because telecommuting reduces the number of days participating employees commute to work, it can help to ease traffic congestion, relieve employee stress associated with commuting, and reduced the demand for parking at the work site.
Same employers have also established satellite offices where employees can work much closer to home and thus reduce commute distances and traffic.
In addition to commuting benefits, telecommuting has been demonstrated to increase morale and productivity and can provide employees with an important means of addressing work/life balance issues. It is therefore viewed as a valuable employee benefit that can give employers an advantage in attracting and retaining a highly qualified workforce.
Flextime and Staggered Work Hours
Flexible work hours allow employees to select their own arrival and departure times for work. For example, an employee might choose to begin and end his/her work day one or two hours earlier than usual-or he/she could begin and end later than the norm. Flextime may also include a shift to non-traditional workdays, such as working on Saturdays rather than Mondays. Flextime encourages employees to travel outside the peak commute hours, thus helping to relieve congestion, and also allows employees to more easily coordinate their arrival and departure times with transit schedules or with other employees who are interested in ridesharing. Staggered work hours are similar to flextime, except that the employer determines alternate arrival and departure times for groups of employees.
Compressed Work Week
A compressed work week allows participating employees to work the same number of hours in fewer days. For example, an employee might work 40 hours in four days or 80 hours in nine days, thereby eliminating one day of commuting out of every one or two weeks. Compressed work weeks create several commuting benefits. Reducing the number of commuting days for each participating employee decreases the number of cars on the road and lessens the demand for parking at the work site. Also, because compressed work weeks create longer workdays, employees are more likely to commute during off-peak hours, making their commute easier and easing congestion during peak hours.