The stress of getting to and from work is playing on our employees mind. Increased gas prices along with the stress of commuting and finding balance are making commuter benefits highly attractive. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than half of employers offer commuter benefits of some kind.
The most common are:
- Pre-tax transit accounts/subsidies (28%)
- Parking subsidy (11%)
- Telecommuting part-time (35%)
- Flexible hours (59%)
Douglas Johnson of the Consumer Electronics Association’s research shows that if each person were to telework one day per week, each person would save as many as 1.4 gallons of gas per day, four to six tons of carbon emissions per year and one-third to one-half of a household’s yearly energy use.
The Alcott Group, a New York-based HR consulting firm, has looked to offset this stress by giving employees $100 via payroll to help pay for commuting expenses. The book, “Undress4Success: The Naked Truth about Working from Home,” estimates that, if US telework increased to its full potential:
- Gulf oil imports could be reduced as much as 80%
- This equates to $43 billion dollars at the gas pump, 625 million barrels of oil and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 107 million tons
- In the nation’s capital, that means 60 hours per person regained each year and $1,094 per person in savings in travel delay and excess fuel consumption costs each year, shows the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2007 Urban Mobility Study
- In Los Angeles, the number increases to 72 hours regained and $1,374 saved
Whether your employees commute, car-pool or use city transit, we know that these costs have dramatically risen over the past few years. This has had a huge impact on the finances of our employees which can be anywhere from 2-8% of their income. As part of your wellness programming, what programs are you
implementing to assist your employees deal with this source of stress? Some companies have chosen to reimburse their employees, some have looked to telecommuting or reduce hours of operation. By weighing the options and asking your employees directly, you will be able to implement the right strategies for your
employees and help reduce the impact that this stressor is having on their lives.
Does your company encourage car pooling or using transit?
How does your company promote these green programs?
How important do you think these benefits will be to the future of your company?
Leave us your comments!