- Click here to review the state and city CTR requirements.
Six Strategies to Reduce Your Company’s Travel
Even though a number of employees are working remotely, many continue to drive alone when coming into work. There are many ways you can assist these folks in altering their commute….
- How do your personnel travel to work? The first step to creating a trip reduction plan is to look at how you travel. Distribute a commuter survey to your employees and find out how they get to work. Via bus, bike, or car? What parts of the city are they commuting from, and do they drive alone or with others? The answers to these questions will help you determine which trip reduction strategies will be most effective for your team.
- Public Transit Encourage employees to take public transit instead of driving to work if available in your location. Find out which buses and trains drop off close to your offices, provide links to trip planners, and pass out public transit maps to make it easy for employees to plan commutes on public transit. Many transit authorities offer bus passes for companies to purchase in bulk at discounted rates. You can give these to your employees for free or at a reduced price.
- Carpools and Vanpools Once you review your commuter survey results and determine what areas of town people are commuting from, you’ll be able to help arrange carpools for employees who live close to one another. You can create an online forum for employees on your company’s intranet that will help them coordinate with one another and share rides. Local transit agencies may also offer vans for daily use by large groups of employees at low or no cost to your company.
- Walk, bike, or run. Exercise your way to work! Promote commuting to work through physical activity! Employees who live in close proximity to work can avoid driving altogether by exercising their way to work. Tout the health benefits of cycling and walking and even how commuting this way will help save people time. You can set up bike racks, install showers, and provide lockers to employees who walk or bike to work. After exercise, no one wants to start their day at the office without first freshening up!
- Cash Out Create incentives for your employees to take alternative commutes by offering a “cash-out” option. In a cash-out program, your company provides a monthly stipend to employees who commit to taking public transit, carpooling, biking, and other forms of alternative transportation. These programs allow employees to “cash-out” on their parking spaces and are a great way to motivate people to drive less.
Why start a work from home program at your company? The reasons are limitless. Work from home programs can mean improved quality of life for employees, greater employee productivity, lower real-estate and operating expenses, a lighter environmental footprint, better employee retention, and so much more. Yet the million-dollar question isn't why, but how? As a company or manager, what steps can you take to create a work from home program that thrives? Try these proven methods for a successful telework program.
- Make it Official. Show managers and employees you are serious about supporting mobile work by establishing a formal work from home policy and building it into your corporate culture. You’ll show that everyone on your team is supported, regardless of where they work. Formalizing the program will also help you evaluate its success over time and simplify the process of making changes if any are needed down the line.
- Ask, is it a Good Fit? Working from home isn’t for everybody. Before you send an employee home, be sure to ask questions to help you determine whether it’s a good fit. Evaluate whether the job itself is compatible with working from home. Considering the employee’s work style and past performance is equally important. Studies have shown that employees who do well in the office typically will do well at home.
- Set Clear Expectations, Procedures, and Goals. Many challenges associated with mobile work can be avoided with a little advanced planning. Sit down with the employee and identify any potential problems that could arise and the things you can both do to help prevent the issues from happening. Before the employee starts teleworking, establish an agreement about how they will keep in contact with you, the team, and external customers. Ensure connectivity no matter where the employee works, and make sure you always identify clear deliverables.
- Give Feedback. Have Face Time. You can help your work from home employees stay connected with the team by scheduling regularly occurring onsite individual and team meetings. Whether positive or negative feedback, don’t wait for major problems to arise before you bring it up. Personal interactions boost morale, collaboration, and respect between colleagues working at home and those in the office.
- Leverage Technology. Advanced technologies make working from home easier and more affordable than ever. Video calls, instant messaging, desktop sharing, online meeting applications, file sharing sites, and social media allow workers to collaborate easily, regardless of their location. Encourage your teleworking employees to stay connected with their teammates by offering training on applications, devices, and online tools that can help them communicate remotely.
- Be Flexible. Moving from a corporate office to a home office is a big change for both the manager and employee, so you can expect a period of adjustment. Allow 60 to 90 days for the two of you to acclimate to the new arrangement and work through any challenges. But once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, don’t feel chained to the structure of a mobile work arrangement. Every organization puts their own unique twist on their program to ensure success and has clear criteria to revoke the privilege if it does not work out.
- Provide Ongoing Support. Once an employee starts working from home, make sure they do not fall ‘off the radar’. Keep workers informed and provide resources that will enable them to do well in their jobs at home. Support could come from a dedicated program manager or mobile work consultant, through regular training sessions, annual meetings, routine check-in points and/or monthly newsletters. Stay abreast of new tools and technologies and keep your employees informed as well.
CTR BEST PRACTICES …follow these basic guidelines and you’ll have a noteworthy CTR program to offer your employees, help the environment and assist in cutting down traffic in Bellevue!
KNOW YOUR ACRONYMS & Terms:
- CTR / Commute Trip Reduction
- ETC / Employer Transportation Coordinator
- SOV / Single-Occupant Vehicle
- Non-SOV – Non-Single-Occupant Vehicle (any mode of transportation that is not drive-alone)
- DAR / Drive-Alone Rate
- NDAR / Non-Drive-Alone Rate
- VMT / Vehicle Miles Traveled
- TDM / Transportation Demand Management
- Telework, Telecommute, or Virtual / Ability for employees to work from home or away from the office
- Hoteling / Opportunity for employees to reserve a space in office one or a few days each week
- Read and ascertain the Bellevue city mandate for CTR affected companies. Commute Trip Reduction | City of Bellevue (bellevuewa.gov)
- Stay active & informed in your role as ETC & attend/participate in meetings related to CTR.
- Continually update employees on new & upcoming non-SOV programs at your company.
- Set CTR goals that will enhance non-SOV benefits for your employees and increase non-drive alone modes.
KNOW YOUR ROLE AS YOUR COMPANY’S ETC:
- Develop or adhere to and manage/implement your company’s commuter & employee transportation benefits programs and promote them to your employees.
- Manage connecting rideshare partners and available non-SOV transit mode options to employees at your company.
- Act as your company’s liaison to Bellevue’s CTR Administrator, Alison Crosier who will keep you updated and informed per CTR updates, promotions, programs, etc.
- Coordinate distribution & completion of biennial surveys & program reports to all employees at your worksite.
MARKETING & PROMOTIONS:
- Use the Choose Your Way Bellevue webpage as a resource for information & inspiration.
- Offer incentives for non-drive alone employees.
- Provide a consistent non-SOV message to employees, highlighting each non-SOV mode frequently.
- Participate in all promotions offered by Choose Your Way Bellevue, Bike to Work Month/Day, etc.
- Consider hosting a Transportation Fair featuring agencies that represent various non-SOV modes.
NEWLY HIRED EMPLOYES/HUMAN RESOURCES:
- Always include non-SOV transportation information in all new-hire orientations.
- Ask newly hired employees “How do you plan to get to work?” when orienting.
- Include non-SOV transit benefits in your HR repertoire via brochures, a designated webpage, or Commute Information Board located in an area that’s highly trafficked by employees.
- Prepare yourself and your employees for upcoming state-mandated program reports & surveys.
- Reach the minimum response of a 70 percent return rate but strive for 100 percent as your survey return goal.
- Offer incentives for timely survey completion.
GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR YOUR ROLE TO KEEP BELLEVUE MOVING