Carpooling has proven to be one of the best ways of reducing your company’s carbon footprint. But, what is the best way to get employees to start sharing their commute to work?
In an experiment at a large UK airport run by the Harvard Business School, and corroborated by separate, similar schemes with Faxi clients like Northampton County Council, it was demonstrated that the only truly effective way to encourage employees to carpool is through providing parking-based incentives.
Based on these results, we’ve put on our thinking caps and came up with a new solution that we’re very excited to present: the car-parking incentivised carpooling scheme!
Before we dig into the crux of the matter, let’s first talk about carpool incentive schemes.
The benefits of carpooling are pretty easy to spot. From cutting fuel costs, to reducing congestion, cutting commuter stress and saving the environment – each carpooler can choose what motivates them best.
We firmly believe, and have shown, that some employees will opt to share their commute when provided with the right information about it and are given access to the necessary tools to easily set up their carpools.
However, behaviour change is difficult, adopting new systems is time-consuming and adding complexity to getting to work can be stressful. The more complex the challenges around carpooling get, the more likely people are to give up on the idea and choose the known, simple route of taking their own car to work.
This is where carpool incentive schemes come in.
It is in the best interest of employers to motivate their employees to carpool to work. Not only does employee carpooling help employers achieve corporate sustainability goals, but it also allows for a more productive use of commuting time and solves many problems surrounding traffic congestion and car park overcrowding.
Ultimately, what gets people wary to try something new to give it a chance are the incentives that employers are willing to offer them. This can be vastly different depending on company culture, and can include things like a company-organised breakfast, special diplomas and awards, bonuses or premium parking spots.
Faxi brings this to a new level, allowing companies to track the number of verified journeys, offering employers insight into the number of employees who are really commuting together and allowing for the creation of an accurate, fair incentive system.
Parking is the number one most common thing employees struggle with. This can have a major impact on their productivity throughout the day. If one’s day starts with tension related to finding a parking spot, it is probable it will affect the rest of the working day, the stress of everyday tasks piles up on top and results in an overwhelmed employee.
To illustrate how our car-parking incentivised carpooling schemes work, let’s take a look at the experience of one of our carpooling partners – the Barking, Havering & Redbridge hospital in Barking, Essex.
Opting to implement the incentivised parking scheme centred around car park access control, the hospital prioritised 300 of their available parking slots, offering premium parking permits to those employees who commit to carpooling. As a result, 561 staff members opted to start taking advantage of the scheme in place and connected to organise daily carpools.
Based on the success of the scheme the hospital is looking to allocate more parking to the carpooling scheme.
With each new carpool, the hospital can track its auditable, recorded CO2 savings. At the same time, the employees are enjoying premium parking spots, in addition to cutting back on travel costs and the general good feeling that follows being green.
Now, to ensure employees are recording their carpooling journeys, the hospital is taking a further step of reviewing their carpooling activity and offering premium parking permits only to those members of the staff who have completed a certain number of verified carpool journeys each week.
Seems pretty amazing, right? That’s because access control-based schemes work.
In organisations with more than 500 employees, around 96% of them could carpool to work with at least five colleagues, according to our research.
The first step in starting a carpooling initiative is to evaluate your needs and your employees’ priorities. Analyse what your company culture is and design an incentive scheme that would reflect this.
Create a scheme that works for you – start off slowly by offering Faxi as a way of matching for carpooling, which is likely to get around 2% of your staff carpooling. Opting to offer incentives can bring the percentage of staff willing to carpool to work to around 15% and offering premium parking could potentially get a quarter of your workforce sharing a commute.
Remember that our team is always here and happy to offer support and help when needed.