Author: Charles Kim
With greater opportunities for flexible work schedules and technology that allows commuters to work on the go, more employees are making the move in search of larger living space, a wider selection of schools, and a change of pace in general. The population of extreme commuters (employees who travel at least two hours each way, five days a week) is growing.
For these employees, the extreme commute (work-related travel that is at least two hours each way, five days a week) may not be so extreme. But according to a recent report, with 41% of employees saying they spend three or more hours a week on personal financial matters, it puts the higher cost of the commute in both money and time, squarely on the map.
More than ever, commuter benefits are key to retaining employees considering this change and attracting employees from a talent pool that seems to be moving further away. Here are ways to put the benefit in the spotlight and to ensure employees are fully aware of the value of participating.
- Highlight your commuter benefits. When reviewing the complete benefits package as a potential employee, a new employee or during the annual enrollment period, specific details of commuter benefits can sometimes get overlooked or missed altogether. Special mention of the benefit in internal communications platforms and specific promotional materials can draw much-needed attention to the value.
- Add it to recruitment ads. When preparing descriptions of open job positions, mentioning benefits is standard. Make sure to mention commuter benefits specifically in postings and mention details such as whether the benefit is a subsidy, pretax and for transit, parking and biking.
- Mention it often. As a benefit that employees use every day and can join throughout the year, promote commuter benefits continuously in ongoing internal communications. Focus on individual aspects of the benefit on a rotational basis.
- Ensure your program fits your company. Review your current commuter benefits offering to see whether it provides the right flexibility, the proper product offerings, high-quality service and the ability to be customized to meet your specific needs.
Charles Kim is a New York City-based writer and communications consultant who covers topics in a real estate, finance, sustainability, transportation and employee benefits.