On Aug 19 2022 / by Abi Spence

Top 5 reasons workplaces should implement a parking management system

People don’t just introduce a parking management system because they love parking. They do it because introducing parking management achieves overarching business aims, from aligning the car park with a flexible workplace, increasing employee happiness and wellbeing, to optimising unused space, automating administrative tasks and supporting sustainability goals.

Sounds lofty?

Here’s how parking management fits into your larger business goals.

1. Align your car park with your flexible workplace

The broadening definition and growth of flexible working are changing the game. As a result, there has been a noticeable shift from a traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. model to a more malleable working structure.

Employees now have the freedom to decide on working arrangements that suit their daily lives.

However, to ensure flexible working transitions seamlessly into your workplace, it is crucial to consider internal structures that may be inhibiting this move to flexible working. One that is often overlooked is your car park management system.

While employee parking may not be at the top of your to-do list, the time-consuming process of finding a park is entangled with something nobody missed during lockdown: the daily commute.

The priority for commuters is securing parking that is both accessible and affordable.

Over time the daily frustration of time wasted in searching for a park can cause undue stress and lead to employees arriving late, in a bad mood or having to pay high parking costs offsite. Not only can the headache from the trouble of finding a park make or break someone’s day, but it can also have a lasting effect on their overall job satisfaction, productivity and, ultimately, workplace morale.

Since businesses have been implementing a flexible working structure, there is an added frustration for employees arriving at work to see allocated parks sitting empty while they have been forced to park off-site or use alternative transportation. It is clear that each area of the business needs to follow a flexible structure to ensure the transition to flexible working is effective and seamless.

Car park management software, like Parkable, is the easiest way to manage your employee and tenant parking. Our flexible, intuitive platform and app allow businesses to distribute car spots amongst employees. It operates similarly to bookable hot desks; bookable parks are a way to add freedom and autonomy to the office experience.

By reserving a park in advance, employees and tenants can plan their commute knowing they have a parking space ready for them. Employees with an allocated parking spot also can share it with other employees when they are out of the office.

This is exactly what the National Restaurant Association found. With around 100 employees but under 50 parking spots, the company at its DC location didn’t have an efficient way to manage and fairly distribute their parking spots for daily use. The challenge only grew when flexible work policies were put in place.

“We wanted to make the return to the office as easy and seamless for staff as possible, and that starts with the morning commute. With Parkable, we’re able to offer reservable on-site parking to all of our DC team members, which reduces the stress of coming into the office,” explained Sarah Kane, the Project Lead of the National Restaurant Association.

With Parkable’s software, employers and property managers can optimise their unused space better. The average commercial car park is 20-35% empty at any given time due to sick days, meetings or annual leave. Our software lets you see which car parks are in use and facilitates park sharing to allow more employees and tenants to park at the office. There will no longer be a need to race for first in, first served parking, no resentment for parks sitting empty and no added stress.

2. Increase employee happiness and provide better employee experiences

Princeton University found that of all the activities, commuting to and from work consistently ranked as two of the most negative experiences of the day. The time, money and stress saved by parking management software like Parkable could do wonders for your employee engagement, performance and retention.

After a year of working from home, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), an organisation designed to address housing issues in the state, and its 200 employees were ready to return to the office in various capacities. It was at this point that the company’s management pivoted. Parking allocations for its 115 parking spots were removed, increasing parking equity across the organisation. And to facilitate this change and to allow for a seamless daily commute for any of the organisation’s team members that were hoping to work from the office, CHFA implemented Parkable.

“We wanted to change the way we organized staff parking to make it more equitable for the whole team, and needed a technology solution to make that transition easy,” said Brian Miller, CHFA Asset Management Director. “I’m very pleased that we found Parkable.”

Ultimately, unhappy employees and high turnover are not what companies want. While companies can’t influence much of their employees’ commute, a big part of the problem is parking – and employee parking is mainly within a company’s control. A parking management system can help ease some employees’ stress.

With Parkable, CHFA could empower its employees to reserve parking a day in advance and check parking spot availability in real time. On top of this, with Parkable data provided to CHFA through its admin panel, it was able to learn that its staff was not using its outdoor parking spots. With this, CHFA could sublet over 30 parking spots to generate extra real-estate revenue.

“With Parkable, parking has been made easy for our staff, and spaces are being used efficiently,” adds Miller.

3. Optimise your parking space

Before COVID, companies typically fork out about 12% of their real estate spend on car park space. Within the CBD in Australia’s biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, the annual spend reaches AU$6,500 per park per year, and in London, that figure settles around the 3,500 pounds per park mark.

Now, as the work from home, or just WFH, shift spans beyond COVID times, businesses are seeing this expense growing increasingly inefficient, with employees spending less time in the office than ever before. On top of this, companies are now competing with one another, offering flexible work schedules and structures to lure talent amid a persisting labour shortage seen across many economies. All of this suggests that the WFH shift appears here to stay.

With that, the real estate spend that companies budget for can also evolve in its usage to reflect the post-COVID workforce.

Now, this isn’t to say that employee parking isn’t a worthwhile expense because, as we’ve seen, good parking does wonders to employee satisfaction and engagement. However, a question begs: is that with the number of empty car spots jumping over 20% to 57% post-COVID – is there a more efficient way to use all that utilised space.

In short, yes! Car park management software, such as Parkable, can optimise car park space. So instead of spare spots sitting idle and unutilised, these spots can be booked through and shared among the team for those without a designated park for everyone to have a fair chance to park onsite. Now, if we think about this effect in number terms, if a company leases 100 employee parking spots, 33 of which sit empty during the year, that’s over $100,000 spent on a vacant asset.

For example, let’s take the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Before the pandemic, staff parking was only reserved and allocated to several senior employees. However, when the company’s team started returning to the office, it opened this up for the entire team to try and improve employee experience and satisfaction. The only problem was that AACN wanted to provide clarity to its employees on whether they would be able to reserve a spot that day.

With Parkable, it was able to not only enable equitable parking across the organisation, but employees were also able to get the reassurance they needed that they would have a spot when they arrived at the office. On top of this, with Parkable, AACN employees can pay for their parking spots only when they need them (daily, weekly or monthly) and also allow the company to recover lease costs.

“We have already had positive feedback from employees on how easy it is to use Parkable,” explains Heather Shelford, Director of Finance & Administration at AACN. “Staff are happy that they can pay for individual days rather than an entire month. This allows us to offer parking to more individuals.”

4. Reduce administrative load

There is no doubt that time is money. From employees having to sign in at their workplace car park to tedious calculations done by the finance team on car park space deductions, these tedious tasks distract admin teams from focusing on more valuable tasks. With parking management software like Parkable, companies can reduce the administrative load for facility managers. Each task becomes automated, integrating seamlessly into the Parkable app.

Let’s take Automatic number plate recognition, more commonly known as licence plate recognition, as an example. With Parkable’s ANPR functionality, your company can grant secure and easy entry and exit to any of the vehicles entering your parking lot with direct access to control gates. You can also pre-set an approved list of vehicles permitted entry upon driving up to the barrier arm. On top of this, our platform automatically keeps all data and records of the vehicles utilising your space and for how long. The good news is if you already have existing hardware infrastructure, you can still integrate Parkable! Our platform’s ANPR software integrates with all access barriers and RTSP-compatible IP cameras.

TAB saved up to 670 hours of administrative time each year by automating its processes with car park management software. Companies that would otherwise spend hours calculating revenue from hourly or daily rates are not supported by an app like Parkable that can do the work for them.

Now, let’s take Xero in the United Kingdom. Xero recently moved to a new purpose-built office and shifted to a hybrid working schedule. While in their last workspace, the company found parking space to be limited (painstakingly manually managed), by implementing Parkable, they have managed to improve staff satisfaction and carpark space management and access solutions. Xero UK was also able to monitor who was using the carpark space and when it was being used. Xero UK and Parkable align on their #human values aspects, making the pairing so fitting.

“At Xero, we’re really passionate about providing our employees with user-friendly facilities. We see technology like Parkable as playing a big role - and I love the way that Parkable’s features help us demonstrate our #human value by providing fair and available parking for our employees. “I’ve also loved working with the team at Parkable. They’ve provided an excellent onboarding experience and made change management really easy for us to ensure this is a success,” says Ricky Martin, the Xero Workplace Experience Manager (UK & EMEA).

With an app like Parkable, admin teams can access the admin panel where they can perform a range of tasks such as inviting employees to the car park, assigning parking privileges, tracking parking occupancy and managing reported issues directly.

5. Support sustainability aims

A whopping 30-40% of urban congestion is caused by drivers searching for a place to park, a problem caused by the lack of visibility of parking availability. In fact, a single person can eliminate 227 kilograms of greenhouse gases yearly simply by ending the search for a park.

With the Parkable app, we can help you implement and streamline initiatives that work toward achieving sustainability targets.

For example, employees can book a parking spot when needed and then drive straight into their assigned spot for the day. An employee can also view car park availability, both in real-time and for the upcoming week. If there isn’t a park available, employees know this in advance and can organise alternative transport, rather than driving into the office blindly and then circling for a park nearby.

Plus, parking spots that are allocated to specific employees can easily be shared amongst your team, so more people can drive directly into the office rather than leaving space sitting empty.

Parkable can also be used to incentivise carpooling by putting different prices on “one person,” and “carpooling only” parks. If you have EV chargers available for employees or visitors, you can use Parkable’s EV charger management software to manage, share and monetise this infrastructure.

Parkable provides a simple solution for EV drivers to find EV charging stations and to start and pay for their EV charging stations. All they have to do is scan a QR code and follow a few prompts on the app, then plug in the charger, and they’re good to go! We’ll take care of the rest, tracking the time and cost so that EV drivers can keep an eye on their spending wherever they go.

“We started using Parkable to improve the staff experience of using the car park and make their lives easier. We want to deliver the best experience for our staff and this includes adapting to the latest technology that provides both ease of use and efficiency,” writes Ross Turner, facilities manager of KPMG.

To find out why startups and multinationals alike around the world all love Parkable, download our app or book a demo to learn more today!

Solve your parking problems

If you have workplace parking spots and want to...

  • Improve employee parking experiences
  • Reduce car park admin
  • Make better use of your space
  • Align your parking with a flexible working culture
  • Implement hardware solutions

...feel free to get in touch!