commute

Using Commuter Benefits to Improve Morale and Retain Employees

Anthea Business Insurance

When working to improve an organization’s culture, the obvious place to look for improvements is inside the walls of the organization itself through methods such as offering flextime, work gatherings with food and drink, and comfier workspaces. However, an employee’s first impression of an organization starts before they’ve ever set foot inside the building.

Commuting to work can be an aggravating experience for employees who travel a long distance. In fact, a bad experience during a commute can be so demoralizing that it negatively impacts productivity and performance. While organizations can’t close the geographical distance between employees’ homes and their workplaces, providing transportation benefits can help to keep morale up, which, in turn leads to fewer costly turnovers.

The Cost of Commuting

In 2016, 12.6 million Canadians reportedly commuted to work by car, with an average commute time of 24 minutes and median distance of 8.7 kilometers. However, 854,000 car commuters spent at least an hour travelling to work.

Multiple studies have shown that long commute times negatively affect the mental health, physical health, work performance and social life of employees. This includes increased stress, sedentary living, obesity and social isolation, as well as reduced sleeping hours, job satisfaction and sense of well-being.

Furthermore, long commutes take a financial toll that can make it harder to counteract any of the aforementioned effects through means such as joining a gym, seeking mental help, taking work-related classes and spending time with friends.

However, the effects of long commutes are not restricted to individuals. Long commutes also negatively impact society through pollution and congestion, which in turn translates to increased infrastructure costs and reduced productivity.

Addressing Commuting Woes

Because commuting makes such a huge impact on employees, organizations have much to gain from offering commuter benefits.

Commuter benefits can come in many different forms. To help reduce carbon emissions and reduce costs in the long run, one Vancouver organization offers employees:

  • 25-cent reimbursement on the cost of transit passes
  • $500 to purchase a bicycle
  • Up to $1,000 to buy an electric bike
  • $200 for annual tune-ups
  • $5,000 to purchase an electric car

Other commuter benefit options include subsidizing employee carpooling, offering free or discounted local public transit and parking, and offering transportation spending accounts that set aside funds for employees to spend as they see fit on transportation-related costs.

To learn more about improving morale and retaining employees, contact the experts at Mumby Insurance Brokers, Inc. today.