The daily torment involved in both commuting and parking is the butt of endless jokes, but for the majority of Australasia’s working population, the pain is real. In Australia, 60% of the country’s 9.8 million workforce drives to work each day, generally toward congested CBD areas, and driving remains the most popular commuting option in New Zealand.
Even if you only have a 25 minute commute, which is around the average for Australians and New Zealanders, that means 9 whole days of driving to and from work each year. That isn’t a great state of affairs when commuting is associated with time waste, expensive fuel, and opportunity costs, and parking creates so much stress that in extreme cases it leads to outbreaks of violence.
"Commutes can have a major impact on morale and, ultimately, an employee's decision to stay with or leave a job. In today's candidate-driven market, skilled workers can have multiple offers on the table. Professionals may not need to put up with a lengthy or stressful trip to the office if there are better options available."
- Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half
It’s not only commuting in general that has a bad rep; finding a park can be the worst part of the process. A third of CBD congestion comes from people searching for a car park, and many people either go to extreme lengths to secure a park, or experience daily anxiety on their way to work at the thought of finding a spot that won’t cost an arm and a leg or make them late.
After four years of talking to people about parking, Parkable has found that many people who work in CBD areas drive to work up to two hours early in order to secure a car park for the day, and many feel penalised for having an alternative schedule by ‘early bird’ parking prices. Organising one’s life around the rules of parking takes away time from seeing friends and family, catching up on sleep, or working toward personal goals.
“...commuting does not just take up time; it can also be stressful, tiring and expensive. Indeed, it seems that commuting to work is the daily activity that gives the least amount of enjoyment, with commuting home from work only marginally more enjoyable.”
- How’s Life? Measuring Well-Being, OECD 2011
According to the OECD’s report on well-being - and in line with the life experience of most humans - having time away from work to rest and relax is important for reducing stress, increasing productivity, and improving health outcomes (page 125, for anyone particularly interested). Plus, research in the US has found that over 1 in 5 people has quit a job because of the unpleasantness of their commute. So if your employees’ commutes and ‘parking anxiety’ extend their workday and worsen their day, that’s bad news for both them and your business.
For those who can’t arrive early, particularly parents in charge of morning drop-offs to school or daycare, the uncertainty and stress of looking for a park in time for work means an anxious start to the day. Even worse is when someone has parked at a distance from work and then arrives to see that there are available bays in the office car park, as it creates a conception of unfairness and inequality.
Not only do the problems of work parking and commuting impact the happiness of your team, but as we’ve talked about in other blog posts, staff satisfaction is reflected in work ethic, staff retention, productivity, customer service, and company profitability. And while better staff parking isn’t a silver bullet for the multi-limbed beast of staff dissatisfaction, it’s an easy way to improve everyone’s morning and make it clear that you’re moving toward an even better work culture.
Without teleportation, it isn’t likely that the daily commute is going to disappear any time soon. But what companies can do is make sure their staff parking is managed in a way that’s fair, easy to navigate, and allows as many people as possible to park with ease. That’s where Parkable comes in.
Parkable for Business is a car park management system which combats the pain of commuting in three main ways: it helps more people use your staff car park; it creates transparency over space availability so people can plan their commute with confidence; and it’s the easiest, most intuitive way to park.
Employees can be allocated a long-term parking bay, which they use daily. On days when these staff members are away from the office, they can use the app to share their bay with the team, and make sure no bay sits empty. Plus, if they know they have a holiday coming up, they can make their bay available for sharing in advance.
Everyone ends up happier through bay sharing:
Since launching Parkable for Business, Datacom’s car park occupancy has increased 15% through bay sharing. Spark has also seen early success since March, with assigned bays being shared with other staff members almost every workday.
“It has benefitted Spark tremendously. When people have a car park and are away, Parkable gives us the ability to open their park to the rest of our staff members. It also gives a better experience to those people sharing their car park.”
- Tony Agar, Head of Auckland’s Sales IoT, Spark
“I shared my car park on Parkable for the first time last week and had $100 in my account when I returned - what sorcery is this! It’s awesome being able to recoup some of my parking cost when I’m working remotely or out of the office. It’s also a plus knowing that I’m helping a fellow colleague who needs a park at work."
- Datacom Employee with allocated car park
‘Commuting with confidence’ means that your staff won’t need to sacrifice their personal time to secure a parking spot, and won’t be worrying about whether or not they will be able to find a bay after dropping the kids at school.
Those without a subscription bay can simply check the app to see whether there are casual bays available. Plus, a parking spot can be reserved the night before, so there’s no more guesswork.
If there are no bays available on a particular day, the app lets people know so they can plan other transport or parking options. They can also use the app to see what casual parks are available near the office, so they never have to blindly circle the block.
“Just a quick note to say a massive thanks to the team who were in charge of setting this up. I’ve used this a few times now and it has been just awesome! Using Parkable means I can drop my son off at daycare and not stress all the way to work about getting a park close enough to be on time. Awesome work!”
- Datacom Employee
“As a busy working mum doing kids drop off/pick up around work without a designated car park, ease of parking has been a pain point at Show Place. Parkable has completely changed the game - getting to and from work easily is now totally stress free! BIG THANKS to Jen and the team for thinking outside the box, being creative, determined and brave in testing something completely new to deliver an awesome outcome for all of our staff. On behalf of staff and customers at Show Place, PARKABLE IS AWESOME!”
- IAG Christchurch Employee
Parkable also removes many of the annoyances associated with old fashioned parking - broken parking machines, constrained time limits, and dealing with access control.
Reserving, starting, and ending a parking session just take one tap on the app, with automatic and cashless payments, and receipts straight to the inbox.
With transparent pricing and a ‘pay for the minutes you park’ system, there’s also no wondering what bill your staff will be left with. People simply pay for the minutes they park for, or choose a subscription with a weekly or monthly fee. Plus, you can integrate Parkable with your access control, so staff can enter your park via the app, rather than requiring an access key.
"I didn't even have to go to the tutorial meeting. I just downloaded and used it, it's so intuitive."
- Matt McLay, Business Development Manager IoT for Spark
“I used the parking app today and it was AWESOME! So easy to use and made such a difference to my morning knowing that I was able to just book a park with the push of a button!”
- IAG Employee
The daily commute is painful, and for too many people in the workforce it peaks with an uncertain and stressful search for parking. Want to be the kind of company that prioritises happier people? Click the buttons below to learn more about Parkable for Business, or jump to the chase and book a free demo.
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