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September 17, 2020

Commuter Solutions for Your Return to Work Plan

by Samantha Huff

With certain states and municipalities beginning to lift stay-at-home orders, it’s important to create a Return to Work Plan to ensure you have commuter programs and policies in place that accommodate the interest of your organization and its employees. As we continue to adapt to the “new normal,” goDCgo employer services recommends putting in place a variety of commuter benefit options that help your employees feel safe and confident as they commute to and from the office, or when working remotely.

As businesses reopen, we anticipate that commuters will choose to drive their personal vehicle as a protective measure, which will lead to traffic congestion and increase the demand for parking at your worksite. For employees traveling by public transit, updating your commuter program and policies can help to reduce the influx of transit riders commuting during rush hour. Below are some commuter solutions that your company can implement to manage parking demand and help your employees feel comfortable resuming their commute on public transit or while ridesharing.

Continue Telework
Telework has been key to business continuity and maintaining employee productivity. Consider implementing a formal telework policy or updating your existing policy–especially if you have some employees that may not feel comfortable returning to work so soon and/or may have personal circumstances to consider. Find out how your employees feel about working from home by conducting a commuter survey. This is one of many complimentary services offered by goDCgo.

Telework Part-Time
Another option is to allow employees to continue teleworking part-time as businesses reopen and employees return to the office. Employees can slowly return to the office while working from home a few days a week to limit their exposure. Going a step farther, you can require employees to alternate work from home days to limit the number of employees in the office at one time allowing for better social distancing. Learn more about implementing telework policies in our Telework Guide.

Flexible Work Schedules
36% of commuters in DC use public transportation. Offering flexible work schedules allows employees to arrive/leave work at earlier/later times so that they can avoid peak commuting hours that result in crowding on public transportation.

In addition, educate your employees who do take public transit on how to do so safely. Download and distribute our Commute with Care infographics to educate your staff on the safety precautions they should take on each form of public transportation.

Offer Capital Bikeshare
Consider adding Capital Bikeshare to your commuter benefits package this year. It’s a great benefit to offer to begin with but can be especially helpful to your employees as they commute while practicing safe social distancing. Having the option to commute via bike can help your employees feel safer and avoid Metrorail or bus delays when returning to the office. Learn more about Capital Bikeshare’s Corporate Membership.

Provide a Bike Benefit
Create a bike-friendly workplace by implementing a direct bike benefit. As a result of the public health crisis there has been a “bike boom,” and many residents throughout the District are using a bike for commuting, essential trips, and physical activity. By offering a direct benefit for bicycle expenses during each month a bicycle is used for commuting to work, your employees will continue to be encouraged to commute to work. Learn more about offering a bike benefit on page 22 of our Employer Commuter Benefits Toolkit.

No matter which option(s) you choose, goDCgo can help you establish a formal policy and provide guidance with implementing effective programs and benefits for your company. Contact goDCgo Employer Services for a free consultation to get started on your Return to Work Plan.

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