Picture it: After catching up on some reading in the backseat of your self-driving car, you close your eyes and mentally prepare for the big construction meeting. When you arrive, your car drops you off at the main entrance, then drives away to park itself.
This utopia could become a reality in the not-so-distant future. But for now, even the company that’s pioneering self-driving cars deals with employee parking wars.
At one of Tesla’s factories, 6,000 employees compete for 4,500 parking spots, resulting in cars being double-parked and jammed into lots, blocking other drivers.
Some employees even come to work early and go back to sleep in their cars just so they can make sure they get a parking space!
This parking nightmare is hardly unique to Tesla. So what can companies do to ease the pain of employee parking? Here are three creative solutions.
Encourage Alternative Transportation
Tesla’s parking problem became so bad that it started running its own shuttles and even paying employees to bike to work.
While this is a great way to incentivize sustainability and employee wellness, it’s obviously not a feasible option for every workplace. Depending on your location and where your employees live, you may not have roads that are safe or even accessible for bikes.
The quality of public transportation also varies depending on where you live — and in some places, it’s non-existent.
Carpooling is becoming more feasible thanks to ridesharing apps like Uber, which now offers a discounted option called uberPOOL. But it’s still an added expense many employees aren’t used to paying or adopting as a routine way to get to work.
Encourage Flexible Work Arrangements
Most employees say they’d like to work remotely at least part of the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Across the globe, about 70 percent of employees already work remotely at least once a week.
Yet many companies have been slow to adopt formal policies for remote work.
Allowing employees to avoid their office commute altogether when it makes sense not only eases parking problems; research shows it also contributes to higher productivity and greater employee satisfaction.
Use Workplace Management Software
To successfully adopt flexible arrangements like hoteling or activity-based working, your workplace needs to have the right technology. Workplace leaders need to know what spaces are available at any given time, and employees need a way to reserve those spaces. iOFFICE’s space management software makes this easy.
Workplace leaders can assign parking spaces to employees in the same way that they assign desks. They can then manage and view that space with the Space Module. If a parking space isn’t being used because an employee is out on vacation or working at home, that space can be re-assigned with a few clicks.
Employees can even reserve parking spaces and check in or out of those spaces using the Reservations modules of iOFFICE Hummingbird’s employee experience app. Here's how it works:
- Employees either have assigned parking spaces they check into each morning or they make a request to reserve one.
- If an employee does not check in to an assigned parking space, that space is made available to anyone.
- Employees can cancel parking reservations ahead of time when they know they won't be in the office
- Employees receive email notification 30 minutes before they are expected to arrive, reminding them to check in.
- Employees also receive directions to their space if they are unfamiliar with the location.
iOFFICE also has the ability to integrate with parking sensors for real time updates of available parking spaces. The app can be customized to fit the needs of your workplace. For instance, one company uses it to reserve company bikes.
Self-driving cars may one day make employee parking a lot easier, but they still need to know where to go. Having a software system that shows which parking spaces are available and assigns them to employees can help you put an end to the parking wars.
(And by the way, if you work for Tesla and you’re at your wit’s end about the parking situation, give us a call!)