Though technology has drastically changed the landscape of remote work, employees still spend an average of 26 minutes on their daily commute into the office. Long and tiresome commutes decrease employee productivity and can even interfere with physical and mental wellbeing.
It’s no wonder then that employees are more likely to leave the company if they find an opportunity closer to home. Faced with this fact, it’s important for HR to step in and implement initiatives that engage employees beyond hours clocked. Follow these four tips to boost employee happiness and make commuting a little less painful.
Offer Commuter Benefits
Offering a monetary contribution toward your employees’ transportation can drastically ease the burden of costly commutes. Namely's own data reveals that about 40% of companies offer some form of transit benefit. Commuter benefits come in a variety of forms, such as:
Pre-tax funding benefits
Public transportation coverage
Gas gifts cards
Onsite car tuneups
Whether you fully reimburse employees for their travel to and from work or simply offer resources that help them save time and money, incorporating commuter benefits into your total compensation package can drastically increase employee happiness.
Possibly the worst part of a long commute is the time spent sitting and waiting for the time to pass. Studies have linked commuting to various health issues, so if your employees are spending a lot of time in transit, consider prioritizing wellness throughout your office.
You might offer regular onsite yoga class, in-office massages, gym reimbursement, onsite fitness equipment, standing desks, and healthy snacks. In warmer months, try introducing a bike-to-work challenge or creating an after hours sports league. If your company can help integrate wellness into the work day, employees are less likely to feel a lasting negative impact from their commutes.
Telecommuting policies and flexible work scheduling are a great way to engage commuters and build employee loyalty. Entrusting employees with the freedom to build their own schedule so as to avoid chaotic rush hours can make a huge impact on overall happiness. Similarly, a generous work from home policy gives commuters a safety net on snowy days or when emergencies arise.
A day spent working at home may be exactly what’s needed for an employee to be productive and complete a project. Track remote work as you would vacation days, so that you understand exactly how employees are using the policy. As long as your policy includes clear guidelines around expectations, the whole company can benefit from this kind of flexibility.
Make it Fun
A long commute spent sitting in traffic, on a car, bus, or train can feel like a loss of valuable time. Fortunately, workplace culture initiatives can help alleviate that feeling and keep employees entertained on their commutes.
Consider starting a book or podcast club at your company, which can give employees a meaningful way to help their commuting time fly. Incentivize engagement in these clubs with regular discussion meetings, this way members will be motivated to join in and connect with coworkers in a new way.
As companies become increasingly open to remote work, employees will be less inclined to remain in a role with a lengthy or challenging commute. Follow these tips to get ahead of the game and keep your workforce engaged every step of the way.
Rachel Bolsu is a Content Marketing Specialist at Namely, the HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s employees. Connect with Rachel and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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