For many people commuting to and from work is the worst part of the employment experience. Outdated infrastructure, inadequate mass transit, and rapidly growing urban centers are increasing the length of commutes for many employees. Lengthy commutes take a toll on employee happiness and productivity. They are also a top motivator in employees looking for a new job.
As the economy improves and the labor market tightens, employers have to try harder than ever to recruit and retain top employees. Employees are increasingly using their leverage to request transportation or commuting perks.
Employees hate feeling like they are wasting time and money just to get to their job. Transportation perks like parking passes, ride-sharing programs, and even mileage reimbursement not only help defray some of the cost of getting to and from work for employees, but they also help take some of the emotional sting out of the commute.
Why should your organization offer a commuting program to employees? If you want more motivated and loyal employees, you need to offer some form of commuting program. Today it is a competitive advantage for an organization. Tomorrow, lack of a commuting program will be a barrier to recruitment and retention of top performers.
Commuting programs make employees happier. Things like not having to drive themselves to work, or having some financial help with the cost of the commute, show them the organization values them. Happier employees are more productive. When employees see tangible evidence that they are valued, they are less likely to look for other job openings.
Employees that are involved in ride-sharing, car pooling, or company can pools have less absenteeism and are more likely to be on time.
Commuting programs give your company a chance to attract and retain top talent, while also improving employee productivity.
Commuting programs are not only good for your company's bottom line, but they also can help with the tax bill. Many local, state, and federal programs give tax breaks and other tax incentives for employers to have commuting programs.
Under the current IRS regulations, most employee transportation costs can be deducted from gross income. Most employee transportation costs can also be excluded from employer tax considerations.
Some common types of commuting benefits that also offer the employer tax benefits include:
The average work commute will likely continue to lengthen in the near future. Employees are more sensitive than ever to the economic, personal, and social costs that commuting entails. Looking for creative ways to help employees avoid lonely, lengthy commutes not only benefits your company's reputation, but it also can improve the quality of work your employees do.
If you don't offer commuting benefits it may not only be costing your company top recruits and employees, it may also be costing your company money in absenteeism and lost productivity.
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