Soaring gas prices are making it harder to attract potential employees who live far from the workplace. But it’s also giving companies the chance to offer candidates valuable transportation benefits.
Those benefits can also help you hang on to employees who may start to look for work closer to home. Here are some low-cost offerings worth looking into:
- Telecommuting — For some employees, it isn’t possible. But for those who can do it, working at home even one day a week can make a difference in their wallets.
- Public transportation discounts — For employers accessible by buses and trains, many transit authorities partner with businesses to give employees discounted fares. Often, employers cover part of the discount on a tax-free basis.
- Carpooling incentives — Sponsor a program to help employees find co-workers who live in the same area. Also, you can offer small benefits like reserved parking spaces to employees who carpool.
- Compressed work weeks — Letting employees work four 10-hour days cuts most people’s commuting costs? by 20% each week. That might not be the best option, though, since extra-long days can sap some people’s productivity.
Another strategy some companies are using: helping employees move closer to the office. For example, the Consumer Electronics Association, an Arlington, VA-based trade organization, has recently started offering its employees forgivable loans to help them make down payments on homes closer to work.
That’s more complicated — and much more expensive — than finding little ways to ease commuting woes, but the company expects the benefit will attract some hires they’d otherwise lose.