Oregon Enterprise – How leaders can create thriving workplaces by leveraging hybrid work and commuter advantages
A big question for leaders is how to create sustainable, thriving jobs that capitalize on this newfound potential.
“Rethinking how, where, and when we work has revealed a myriad of opportunities and opportunities,” said Stephanie Millar, Get There program manager with the Oregon Department of Transportation. “We learn better, that’s possible. Doing things differently can create better conditions and results for business performance, employees and society. “
As leaders reshape labor norms and practices, hybrid work and commuting can help optimize workplaces through better employee experiences.
Employee experience is important
What exactly is employee experience? Definitions vary widely, but simply put, employee experience refers to everything that employees experience, observe, and feel during their journey through a company.
Why is the employee experience important? How employees perceive and experience work can affect their level of engagement and performance.
Global management consultancy Gallup has encouraged employers to focus on promoting positive employee experiences as salaries are no longer enough to attract and retain the best employees.
Flexibility – especially the ability to work remotely – ranks in today’s employee surveys as one of the most coveted benefits among professional workers. A recent study found that 42% of current teleworkers said they would get a new job if their employer didn’t offer long-term options.
“The flexibility of working remotely offers many benefits that improve the employee experience, from reducing workplace distractions for improved productivity to better work-life balance,” explains Millar. “It is also crucial that remote work reduces the pain when commuting, which employees felt more than ever before COVID.”
Millar added, “For many employees, commuting is an integral part of their work experience. Poor commuting can damage work experience, with negative consequences for employees and their employers. “
Loss of productivity and opportunity due to painful commuting
Regardless of the COVID-19 crisis, employee commutes have become steadily longer over the past ten years as traffic jams and delays have increased.
• US workers lost almost an additional hour per week commuting in 2019, which is the equivalent of one full-time work week in one year
• A typical commuter added 20 minutes more per week to their commute – 17 hours per year – compared to ten years ago
• More workers are commuting from further afield, in part due to a lack of affordable housing
Longer commutes not only cost employees time but also money. The hard cost of commuting – gasoline, car maintenance, parking, and so on – adds up.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average household spent over $ 2,000 in 2019 on gasoline and motor oil alone.
Then there are the opportunity costs of commuting – the income potential sacrificed from commuting. In a new study published in August, LendingTree predicted that resuming the daily commute will cost Portland subway workers more than $ 6,950 in lost time.
It is not just the employees who “pay” the travel expenses. Poor commuting has a number of negative effects on employers:
• Loss of productivity: Painful commuting can take the strain off employees before the start of the working day, and they also take time off from work and other activities that promote a better well-being of the employees
• Adjust headwind: A 2019 national study by Scoop found that potentially poor commutes have persuaded 62% of job seekers not to apply for a job
• Costly employee turnover: The personnel consultancy Robert Half found in a study from 2018 that 23% of employees gave up their job because of a poor commute
“There are already traffic jams in the urban centers of Oregon. If the offices reopen and traffic increases, journeys will likely be longer, ”says Millar. “Even across the state, many workers commute from further afield, which results in longer and often more painful journeys due to the distance.”
“When redesigning work to include the entire work experience of the employee, it’s important to consider the commute,” continues Millar. “By connecting workers with hybrid work and transportation options, employers can alleviate the pain of commuting and achieve a wide range of shared productivity gains and financial savings.”
Joint commuting and recruiting solutions
Many employers require local labor, especially in manufacturing, transportation, and sales, and leisure and hospitality. Acute labor shortages are widespread in these industrial sectors today as companies struggle to get operations up and running.
Employers are often forced to recruit from outside their immediate area, which means long journeys that put applicants off. Shared commuting solutions like vanpooling and carpooling can reduce the distance gap separating employers from a larger, more readily available workforce.
“The pandemic has undoubtedly brought a variety of local recruiting challenges with it. But before COVID, many employers were already attracting more local workers from further away. It’s a national trend that is happening across Oregon and is mainly driven by the lack of affordable housing, ”says Millar. “Commuting solutions can be an effective recruiting and retention tool for employers by making long journeys easier for local employees.”
Get There offers free online vanpool and carpool matching services for employees and employers. In addition, employers can help set up vanpools or shuttle routes through Commute with Enterprise, which operates across the state.
Millar points out that Get There and Partners can help employers and employees benefit from pre-tax savings on qualifying vanpool costs and transportation costs. Employees can withhold up to $ 270 in pre-tax income from their monthly salary for vanpooling and / or transit costs. Employers can save around 7.5% wage tax on employee withholding.
October Get There Challenge:
Build employee skills and habits
Take the Get There Challenge October 4-17 to develop employee skills and habits for higher performing hybrid work and a better employee experience.
Employees can unlock knowledge and skill building achievements to earn badges and points for prizes. The use of game-like elements offers a unique user experience that is fun to pursue goals and give positive motivation to learn and act.
“Gamification expands the possibilities of participation and learning,” says Millar. “It is a powerful motivational tool to encourage employee engagement.”
Any employee 18 years or older who works in Oregon is eligible to participate by creating or using an existing account with GetThereOregon.org.
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