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NOW-ON-SALE-1Central Texas is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and that growth is overwhelming our transportation system. Traffic congestion is getting worse. Employees are spending more time stuck in traffic, and congestion is taking its toll employee productivity, health and morale. Ultimately, as employers, you are feeling these impacts.

We know in Central Texas, we cannot build our way out of the problem. Therefore, more emphasis is being placed on reducing congestion by changing employee travel behavior through employer actions.

Employees’ mobility and commuting choices, travel time, and congestion are all directly impacted by work location, work schedules, parking availability and cost, access to public transportation, and on-site services.

The goal of this mobility toolkit is to provide you with resources you can adapt to your business to readily build out your mobility programs. Each link below contains resources as Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, Powerpoint Presentations and other templates that have been intentionally kept simple, un-branded, and customizable so that you can integrate them easily into your own branding and materials.

This toolkit contains business tools that can help you manage your business resources and give your employees more choices for getting to work. It is designed to help you consider different commuter choices you can offer employees with step-by-step implementation. The tools are organized to show you the easiest options first, things you can implement using existing services and with minimal impact on policies, procedures, and budgets.

FOUR STEPS FOR SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TOOLKIT

Step 1: Assign the role/responsibilities to someone in your company.

It can be an office manager, HR personnel, a green team, or simply one or more employees who are interested in the issue and highly motivated.

Make sure they have the necessary qualifications and skills. The person(s) should be internal champions who can work with other employees to motivate them or just help them solve commute-related problems. They will also have to coordinate with external resources: Movability Austin, service providers, and management of facilities like parking. Finally, they should have a means to track employee activities and performance (some of which should provide hard data on the return on investment (ROI).

Step 2: Work to get organizational buy-in which means executive support for a specific commitment, i.e., 20% reduction in ‘drive alone’ trips.

The commitment should be related to company strategies such as:
A) Efficiency and cost management whether cost management on parking, fleet, facilities, or health insurance costs.

B) Sustainability and green programs whether to reduce carbon footprint or developing cost savings through resource efficiencies.

C) Employee retention and hiring whether it is to attract and retain employees who view an urban office with mobility choices as important or helping employees save travel costs and avoid frustrations.

Step 3: Developing a 3-year plan to get everything launched is ideal.

Give yourself time to get everything running smoothly.Things to consider in planning include:

  • Budget required
  • Metrics
  • Tracking and evaluation of programs
  • People resources – Mid-level management is a key to implementation for many items in mobility solutions
  • Communications
  • Training
  • Goals and alignment with organizations overall business plan

Step 4: Focus on behavior change.

Change in employee behavior and culture is the win with mobility solutions; but changing behaviors, especially deeply ingrained habits, is hard. Here are a few tips to make this easier:

  • Consistency over time is necessary.
  • Pilots are great ways to work out the kinks.
  • Fully integrated approaches work better that piece meal…although implementation for specific pieces can be developed on a pilot (experiment and adjust) basis
  • Working individually with employees by function/group is the most effective approach versus broad edicts or approaches.

The Toolkit

The Business Case for Telework and Commuter Programs

The best way to get started is to educate yourself about the business benefits of mobility programs. It is often useful to also give a presentation to critical stakeholders explaining the benefits. This section provides some general benefits that companies gain from mobility solutions, as well as a sample power point you can use to educate personnel in your organization.

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Establishing Baseline Data for Telework and Commuter Programs

Critical to the success of your mobility programs is to know where you are starting from. In most organizations, many people are already practicing a variety of mobility options, and you may be completely unaware they are doing them. It is also important to identify what people are interested in doing and what benefits or incentives would motivate them to do it.

The purpose of this survey tool is to provide a sample baseline survey that should be sent out to all of your employees and contractors before you get started in the process. The results of this survey will let you know where you are right now with mobility and also what options your employees are most interested in. In addition, we have provided a survey to help you do a self-assessment of your own program and see what programs you have in place right now.

The easiest way to collect and analyze this data is utilizing a survey tool. Please check with your human resources or IT department to see if you have an existing tool already used by your organization to send out surveys.

If you do not, some of the more popular survey tools are Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com), Survey Gizmo (www.surveygizmo.com), Zoomerang (www.zoomerang.com) and KwikSurveys (https://www.kwiksurveys.com/). Many of these have free options up to a certain number of questions or survey participants and then have fee structures that require payment.

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

If you are a Survey Monkey Paid Pro Plan user and you would like to receive a copy of either of these surveys to distribute via your own Survey Monkey account, please contact deanna@thrivalcompany.com for assistance.

We recommend, if permitted by your organization, to offer incentives to take the survey to maximize participation. On average, surveys are completed by less than 25 percent of the audience. But, by offering the right incentives, you can raise that participation percentage to 75 percent or higher.

We recommend allowing 7-14 days to complete the survey. Once completed, you can review the responses and prioritize which mobility programs you want to investigate and pilot first based on the results.

Telework Program Development

One the most popular mobility programs is telework. Most employers do not have to offer any incentives to get employees to participate in telework programs. But, having a successful telework program is a culture shift. It is not enough to just allow telework. You must have strong systems in place to ensure that people continue to perform, it enhances versus detracts from employee productivity, and maximizes your ability to keep real estate costs under control.

The following sections will step you through the process of creating a successful telework program for your organization.

Purpose:

The Telework 101 Presentation is a powerpoint presentation that can be used to educate people about the advantages of telework and how to establish a successful program. The one page tip sheet is intended to support the presentation and leave participants with a template they can follow to successfully implement the program.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To educate management and employees about telework
  • To educate the implementation team on how to create a successful program
  • To prompt questions and discussion about how this could be implemented at your organization

Additional Resources:

  • www.telework.gov
  • www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com
  • www.flexjobs.com
  • www.mobileworkexchange.com

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Useful Facts and Statistics

Purpose:

Often people need to see facts and statistics about telework to buy into the benefits of telework. The purpose of this document is to provide multiple sources of information on studies, articles, and companies that have successfully implemented telework.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To educate yourself on the world of telework and useful data to sell the idea of telework
  • Provide to managers who are interested in seeing outside sources of information supporting the concept
  • Use content for trainings, newsletters, promotional events, blogs, company bulletin boards, email promotion, etc.

Links:

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Frequently-asked-questions

Purpose:

When building a telework program, employees will have lots of question as will your managers. The purpose of this sample Telework Frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) is to allow you to create a comprehensive document customized to your own program that addresses the most common questions that will be asked.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To create a FAQ for employees for posting on internal website, in policies, etc.
  • To empower managers and HR to answer questions and support clarity around the program
  • To spark discussion with the implementation team and verify that you have answers to all of these questions prior to launching a telework program.

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Assessments for Participants

Purpose:

The most common concern with managers is whether their employee is a good fit for telework. The assessments provided in this section help managers determine if an employee is the right fit for working from home. The first assessment is taken by the employee. The second assessment can be used by the manager. We have provided these as word documents but we recommend they be translated into a survey tool or made into an online PDF form.

The Telework Assessment for Employees is a one-page self-assessment designed to help an individual employee determine whether he or she is a strong candidate for telework.

The employee will walk through a series of self-guided questions, exploring key factors, which can affect the success of a telework arrangement. The tool will prompt the employee to think critically about whether working from home is the right choice for him or her, both personally and professionally. The answers will shed light on the feasibility and potential outcomes of telework for both the manager and the employee.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To create criteria for determining who can work from home.
  • To empower employees to self-assess and determine if they are a right fit for telework
  • To empower managers to have clear criteria to choose to approve personnel for telework
  • Post the tool on your company’s intranet, telework program website, SharePoint pages, or internal social networking sites, making it available for managers and employees to download.
  • Email the tool to managers who can distribute it to their teams or send it to individual employees who may be considering telework.
  • You can require employees enrolling in the company’s telework program to take the self-assessment as a formal step in the enrollment process.
  • Best Practice: Use this assessment in conjunction with the Telework Assessment for Managers for a complete perspective on the potential opportunities and challenges inherent in an individual employee’s telework arrangement.

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Sample Telework Policies

Purpose:

Your human resources department will need to create a telework policy to support your program. Policies can be simple to complex and are typically crafted and reviewed by legal personnel familiar with employee issues. The length of your policy will be driven by your organizations comfort with covering all critical topics and risks.

We recommend if you have bargaining unit or non-bargaining unit employees you look at the telework policies located on the federal government’s website (http://hr.commerce.gov/Employees/WorkLifeIssues/DEV01_006085).

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To create an HR telework policy for your organization
  • To compare an existing telework policy with these samples for possible update or revision

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Enrollment Forms

Purpose:

Although companies do not have to require formal enrollment in a telework program, many companies find creating formal enrollment to be a positive benefit as this allows them to track the successes (or failures) of the program as well as calculate and report out positive environmental and employee satisfaction benefits to their stakeholders. The purpose of this section is the provide a sample enrollment form.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To create a formal enrollment process for your teleworkers so results can be tracked and measured.

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Home Ergonomic and Environmental Health and Safety Assessments

Purpose:

Although current data shows that workmen’s compensation claims go down as telework increases, it is still important to supply your employees, once approved for telework, with guidelines for ensuring their alternative workplace supports their health, the environment, and their safety. The purpose of this section is to provide you with some criteria and tools to help employees set up a healthy home work environment.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To train people on ergonomics and safety at home
  • To create a checklist that teleworkers are required to complete in order to be approved to telework
  • To create flyers or educations materials and blog posts to remind teleworkers about appropriate good habits at home

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Telework Employee and Manager Training

Purpose:

Critical to the success of any telework program is not just to train the employees to telework successfully but to also train the managers on how to successfully manage teleworkers. The purpose of this tool is to provide you templates you can adapt to provide this training to your employees who are teleworking and the managers of the teleworkers.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To train employees on how to telework successfully
  • To train mangers on how to manage teleworkers successfully
  • To create performance evaluations that include sound criteria
  • To establish positive social guidelines that support productivity for both the telework, the employees in the office, and the managers

Links:

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

Questions? Contact

Elizabeth Frisch, CXO at The Thrival Company

elizabeth@thrivalcompany.com (512) 656-7518

Telework Metrics, Survey, and Annual Reporting

Purpose:

In order for mobility programs to be successful, you must be able to show that they are working and producing the desired results. Managers will often ask what will be measured in order to prove the program is working. The purpose of the tools in this section is to provide a list of simple telework metrics you can track, provide sample employee and manager surveys you can conduct annually to assess the program, and a simple reporting format you can use to report the results.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To develop telework program metrics
  • To create surveys for both employee and managers to assess the success or identify issues with the program
  • To have a format to report results to management

Links

Please email kate@thrivalcompany.com to request editable versions of any forms or document available for download above.

If you are a Survey Monkey Paid Pro Plan user and you would like to receive a copy of either of these surveys to distribute via your own Survey Monkey account, please contact deanna@thrivalcompany.com for assistance.

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Evergreen Online Webinars for Mobility Programs (Telework/Commute Solutions)

Purpose:

As part of this Mobility Campaign we are offering a series of webinars covering a wide variety of mobility programs and issues. These programs will be held live, then recorded and available to your employees and you to watch at any time. This is an easy and free way to get everyone in your organization educated and working from the same tools as well as hearing the success stories of organizations who have already put programs in place.

WEBINARS

Questions? Contact

Kate Barber, Client Relations Manager at The Thrival Company

kate@thrivalcompany.com (512) 745-3321

Commute Solutions Program Development

Most people would love to give up their long drive to work in exchange for improving their quality of life, productivity, health, or reduce their stress level. In Central Texas we have an amazing array of options to get people to work besides driving alone. Every organization has the ability to adopt commute solutions programs. There are options available no matter where you are located. This section of the toolkit will help you create commute solutions programs that work for your employees. Just a few benefits of commute solutions programs include:

  • Improved Employee RetentionWith the Enterprise Rideshare program, you’re able to offer your employees a unique “perk” that makes their commute faster, more affordable and more enjoyable. This employee benefit may help you to recruit the best employees – wherever they may live. In addition, your current employees who commute more than 20 miles to work may be your employees most “at risk” for changing employment to a company closer to home. Rideshare provides these employees with an easy solution to their long commute.
  • Enhanced ProductivityVanpool riders aren’t subject to the stress and hassle of having to fight the daily traffic grind, which means they may arrive happier, more relaxed, and in turn more productive. In addition, since vanpools don’t wait for late riders, these employees are more likely to arrive to work on time.
  • Reduced Parking NeedsWhen groups rideshare, it means you need to provide fewer spaces to accommodate them, thereby either saving dollars or freeing up spaces that can be used for customer and/or visitor parking. In addition, with fewer cars coming and going during peak rush hour times, you create a less congested and more pleasant work environment
  • Realized Tax Benefits

A Vanpool tax incentive allows you to set aside up to $230 a month from employee paychecks toward vanpool costs. This lowers that person’s taxable income (a benefit for them) and reduces your share of payroll taxes (FICA). If you choose to subsidize a vanpool program, you may be able to deduct this cost from your taxes and classify the deduction as an expense.

So let’s get started on all of the options you have to consider and resources to ensure that you are successful.

Commuter Program Marketing Strategies

Purpose: Although many employees are eager to sign up for commuter benefits, others will be unaware of their advantages. Employer marketing can spread information about commuter benefits and contribute to positive perceptions. Employers can choose from a variety of marketing strategies and messages, depending on the type of work site, communications technology, number of employees, and employee perceptions. Employers should choose those strategies and messages most appropriate for their situation. An effective marketing campaign includes a program launch, continuous message exposure after the launch, and periodic special promotions.

Ways you can use this tool:

The One-Stop Marketing Assistant will help Commuter Champions to think through strategies depending on the needs, resources, and culture of your company. We have even identified key roles for and messaging points.

  • You can use the assistant to develop quick and easy or detail marketing plans for your commute benefits program
  • It will help you develop timelines, allocate resources, and coordinate with other departments or staff.
  • It will help you tailor messaging and communications to fit with your company’s strategic plans, values and culture.
  • Utilize best practices for successful Commuter events and activities

Links:

Commuter Program HR Benefits and Activities

Purpose of Tax Benefits: Taking advantage of commuter tax benefits will add an extra incentive for you to start or expand your employee commute program. By offering more commute options to your employees, they will have greater flexibility and be more likely to take non-drive alone modes of transportation to work. With simple HR and accounting set up both your company and the employee can reduce payroll taxes by the cost of these benefits.

How you would use this: Your company and employees are eligible for a federal payroll tax benefits by offering commute options to your employees! The Commuter Tax Benefit Primer assists you in developing the HR policies and accounting procedures to ensure that expenses are considered pre-taxable payroll items.

Federal law allows employers to reduce the cost of commuting for their employees via public transportation including: bus, ferry, rail and vanpool by:

  • Providing employees with a tax-exempt benefit of up to $130 per employee per month for transit or qualified vanpooling, $250 for qualified commuter parking, or $20 for bicycling (2014 tax year)
  • Allowing employees to use pre-tax income to purchase transit passes
  • Allowing employers and employees to split the cost of the transit pass using employer tax-free subsidies for a portion and employee pre-tax income for the remainder
  • Saving on FICA payroll taxes when employers and employees use pre-tax income for transit passes

Links:

Purpose the Commuter Stipend: A commuter stipend maximizes the individual employee’s ability to choose based on market forces like cost and convenience, while reducing the risks and management requirements for the company. Generally, a stipend is used instead of company provided free parking and is most attractive in areas where parking is expensive and/or harder to find. Empower employees to pay the full costs of their commute transportation also encourages more employees to choose cheaper travel options.

How you would use a Commute Stipend

  • Where some, but not all employees have parking subsidized by your company. A stipend can increase the equity of benefits between people using parking provide “free to the employee” (receiving a benefit with $ value) and those who do not use the “free parking” (losing that $ value benefit)
  • Encourage the use of lower impact travel options and decrease demand for parking, where availability it extremely limited
  • Manage increasing costs for existing parking used and any additional parking as the company grows
  • Employees with cost sensitivities consider this a pay increase. If it is an opt-in program most other employees are positive or neutral toward the offer.

Additional Resources:

Links:

Employee Training for Commuter Programs

New Employee Orientation Guide

Purpose: The New Employee Orientation Guide is a template allowing your company to tailor your own Employee Orientation Guide with an emphasis on encouraging use of alternative transportation.

As travel in Central Texas becomes more challenging it will be increasing important to introduce new employees to their commuting options, let them know any incentives the company provides, and have them think about traveling to work every day, before they accept the job and perhaps even as they decide where to live. Research is clear, major life transitions (like a new job) is the best time to change behaviors, travel behaviors are no different.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • Work with HR department to populate this template based on your company’s priorities and commuter benefits the company provides.
  • HR can make this guide part of the new employee on-boarding process or introduced as a separate orientation item.
  • Best Practice: Once a New Employee Orientation Guide is created, make it an integral part of the hiring processes. As early as possible, get new employees thinking about their commute.

Links:

Employee Commuter Choice Training

Purpose:

Critical to the success of any commuter program is providing information and tools that employees will need, but also helping them discover their own reasons and motivations for using a particular travel choice. The purpose of this tool is to provide you a template you can adapt to provide this training to your employees that helps them understand the bigger problems facing all of us, encouraging their own evaluation of their behavior, and then getting them to think about choices that might work better for them.

Ways You Can Use this Tool:

  • To train employees on how to make successful commuting choices.
  • To establish positive social guidelines that support productivity for both employees and the managers

Links:

Questions?

Contact: Alix Scarborough, Program Director at Movability Austin

Alix@MovabilityAustin.org (512) 586-8981

Commuter Programs Transit Services with Capital Metro

Purpose: The MetroWorks initiative allows businesses to purchase deeply discounted Capital Metro transit passes (up to 20% off retail). You can combine these savings with IRS business tax incentives specifically designed to increase public transportation use and other cost saving to offer your employees a commute benefit at little or no cost to you. Some employees will consider access to transit a benefit saving them travel costs and making their time spent more productive. If your employees want this service that may be sufficient Return on Investment, however there may be other ROI factors to consider:

  1. Is this reducing demand for employee parking?
  2. Is there value for increased productivity and health/wellness?
  3. Is there a positive impact for new hires or employee retention?
  4. Are there sustainability and Green Business dividends?

Ways you can offer a transit pass to employees

There are several decisions to make:

  1. Will the company manage and distribute passes?
    1. Allows backend transactions, like payroll deductions
    2. Both employee/company can benefit from Commuter Tax benefits.
    3. Requires you to develop a cafeteria type opt-in
    4. Requires distribution of passes
    5. This maximizes tracking and accountability
  2. Is a reimbursement program easier for your company?
    1. Easy online and app purchase options
    2. Determine a reimbursement policy, e.g., company pays all but $5 for a monthly pass.
    3. Simple to communicate and manage, tracking is possible via account report on reimbursements.
    4. It is more difficult to know in advance who may be using transit and thus to provide proactive support and communicate information.
  3. Do you wish to provide employees with a flat monthly amount and give them completely charge of their own travel arrangements?
    1. This is called a “Commuter Benefit” amount. An employee agrees to use commute options most days and you add a commuter stipend to the their pay check.
    2. This is the most market-oriented approach.
    3. It is simple and it is popular with employees
    4. More on this option under Commute Cash Benefit.
    5. The only track available is payment of the benefit, although follow up surveys is advisable and can provide useful tracking information.
  4. Planning and Budgeting
    1. Capital Metro provides a discount based on the number of employees using passes.
31 Day Pass Type Base 10-50 51-199 200+
Local $33.00 $29.70 $28.00 $26.40
Premium $49.50 $44.55 $42.00 $39.60
Metro ATX Pass $77.00 $62.00 $62.00 $62.00

Links:

Commuter Programs Employers Guide to Carpooling/Vanpooling Services

Purpose: The Employer Guide to Capooling/Vanpooling provides employers with essential information on how to set up and promote a carpool/vanpool program. The Employee Guide to Carpooling/Vanpooling provides employees with information on what carpooling and vanpool is, the benefits they offer, and how to form or join one.

Ways You Can Use these Tools:

  • Set up a ride matching form on your intranet site to help your employee locate co-workers interested in a carpool or vanpool. Movability Austin may be able to help you use easy mapping tools or even do a cluster analysis of employees interested in Carpooling or Vanpooling to help employees identify co-worker who lives close to each other.
  • There are several free tools that employees could use, if your company does not have or does not want to build internal web tools to facilitate ride matching. These include Carma, Ridescout, MetroRideShare and MyCommuteSolutions.
  • Once policies are decided, provide the information to your employees:

CUSTOMIZE THE Employee Guide to Carpooling/Vanpooling AS YOUR COMMUNICATIONS TOOL.

Post the tool on your company’s intranet, telework program website, SharePoint pages, or internal social networking sites, making it available for managers and employees to download.

Email the tool to managers who can distribute it to their teams or send it to individual employees who may be considering Car or Bike Sharing.

Include the tool in your New Employee Orientation

Best Practice: Do all of the above and hold an information session or Lunch-and-Learn for those who want to participate. Invite representatives from Carma, myCommuteSolutions, and MetroRideShare to present about their services and answer any questions.

Additional Resources:

Links:

Questions? Contact:

Alix Scarborough, Program Director at Movability Austin

Alix@MovabilityAustin.org (512) 586-8981

Commuter Programs Car/Bike Share Services

Purpose: The Employer Guide to Car/Bike Share provides employers with information on how to procure and promote car and bike share services. The Employee Guide to Car/Bike Share Services will provide employees with information on what car and bike share services are, the benefits of using them, and how to use them.

Ways You Can Use these Tools:

  • Encourage employees to take an alternative mode of transportation to work, by ensuring a car or bike is available near the office for off-site meetings, appointments, and errands.
  • Utilizing Movability Austin to broker Reduced Rates for your employees
  • Explore the benefits of Corporate Accounts: Instead of reimbursements, usage fees are charged directly to the company
  • Once policies are decided, provide the information to your employees:

Post the tool on your company’s intranet, telework program website, SharePoint pages, or internal social networking sites, making it available for managers and employees to download.

Email the tool to managers who can distribute it to their teams or send it to individual employees who may be considering Car or Bike Sharing.

Include the tool in your New Employee Orientation

Best Practice: Do all of the above and hold an information session or Lunch-and-Learn for those who want to participate. Invite representatives from Car2Go, Zipcar, and Austin B-cycle to present about their services and answer any questions.

Additional Resources:

Links:

Questions? Contact:

Alix Scarborough, Program Director at Movability Austin

Alix@MovabilityAustin.org (512) 586-8981

Flexible Work Programs

Flexible work programs offer an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week, allowing employees to vary their arrival and/or departure time and even the days and place of work. They offer flexibility in the scheduling of hours worked, in the amount of hours worked (such as part time and job shares) and, in the place of work (telecommuting from home or at a satellite location).

Flex time is a powerful tool to get your employees out of congested traffic and working productively. It is also a way to retain key employees whose personal needs may not work out with traditional work hours, especially if it means they will spend several hours a day in traffic…..

As an employer, why would you consider offering flextime? After all, it’s “different,” and could cause some changes, especially if you run a very traditional sort of business or operate out of habit. Some managers can find it stressful or disconcerting to their schedule to see employees arriving and leaving at various times during the day. It also presents a challenge to coordinate people, tasks and productivity when your employees aren’t at work at the same time.

But flex time is a powerful tool to get your employees out of congested traffic and working productively. It is also a way to retain key employees whose personal needs may not work out with traditional work hours, especially if it means they will spend several hours a day in traffic.

If you can offer flex time, you’ll gain increased productivity and worker satisfaction, along with decreased absenteeism and turnover–all great money-savers for your company!

Flextime Options

So just what kind of options are there to the traditional workday?

1. Job-Sharing – Two workers each work 1/2 time in the same job.

2. Flex Hours – Employees either come in earlier or later than others like 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Or, employees can come into the office for part of the day and work from home part of the day avoiding peak commute hours.

3. Compressed Work Week – Employees work a four-day week (4, 10 hour days) or four long and one short day (4, 9 hours days plus 1 4 hour day). These can be alternated and staggered to ensure companies always have coverage.

4. Long/Short Seasons – Some companies are busy at certain times of the year. Employees work more than 40 hours during busier times of the year and less during slower times.

5. Project Hours – Employees are paid by the project vs. salaried. Employees function more like an external consultant in this structure.

How to Ensure you Are Successful:

Worried your employees might take advantage of the situation? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Make the goals and structure clear. Like in a telework program, performance must be clearly defined and be measurable.

2. Be clear on communication and who is responsible for what. How do everyone stay connected when working different schedules?

3. When will you connect and have ‘face-time’ whether by phone, virtual meeting, or in person? How much contact do you want with your employees? What is the time they do need to have together to keep team, performance, and relationships optimum?.

4. Be clear on schedules and have regular working hours. Make sure everyone knows who is where, when, and how.

Questions? Contact

Elizabeth Frisch, CXO at The Thrival Company

elizabeth@thrivalcompany.com (512) 656-7518

Make Flextime Easy with Metropia

Employers who want to consider flextime without a big investment of new policy or cost may be interested in Metropia, a free mobile app that was recently launched in Austin as a technology solution to reduce congestion. More than an app—it is a community of drivers, employers, local businesses and government agencies helping to alleviate Austin’s traffic congestion – one trip at a time.

Metropia is working with employers to offer smarter travel options their employees who drive for their daily commute or while driving on behalf of their employer, enabling them to cut transportation time and costs. The app recommends the best times to leave for and from work as well as alternative routes that avoid traffic. It encourages commuters to leave a little earlier or later to improve their driving experience and avoid peak traffic by offering points for modifying their behaviors. The points can be redeemed at local businesses or put towards environmental initiatives, like planting trees.

Here’s how Metropia can help employer partners:

  1. One-on-one consultation on how flextime with Metropia can benefit employees.
  2. Select one or more of the following employee education and engagement activities:
    • Onsite signup/outreach information booth
    • Presentations or moderated discussion
    • Employee posters (electronic copy)
    • Information cards (hard copy)
    • Ad for internal newsletters, message screens (see image)
    • Newsletter article
    • Contests for employee metropia users
  3. Opportunities to incorporate employer-specific ‘rewards’ into the app. (e.g., time off, employer branded items).
  4. Web-based, dashboard reporting on cumulative, average travel-time savings, carbon dioxide and fuel savings, insights on employee travel behaviors through maps and visualizations, and, for employers with flextime goals, track progress towards meeting that goal.
  5. Recognition as an employee partner and for contributing to traffic reduction in the region.
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