Feeling pressure at the pump, many workers are changing their commuting habits to ease the financial burden of rising gas prices, a new survey from Robert Half International shows. More than four out of 10 (44 percent) professionals interviewed said higher gas prices have affected their commutes, up from 34 percent two years ago when a similar survey was conducted.
Among those who said they have altered their work arrangements, the most common changes they reported making include increased carpooling or ridesharing (46 percent), driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle (33 percent) and telecommuting more frequently (33 percent). Three in 10 said they are looking for a new job closer to home.
The survey also found that employers are launching a variety of initiatives to ease the burden on employees. The most common benefits companies are implementing to offset the rising cost of commuting, according to those interviewed, are increased mileage reimbursement for travel, ridesharing or vanpooling programs and subsidized transportation. Almost six in 10 respondents (59 percent), however, said their companies are not offering programs to alleviate higher gas costs.
Workers were asked, “What benefits, if any, is your company implementing or planning to implement to offset the rising cost of commuting?” Their responses*:
Increased mileage reimbursement for travel 18%
Ridesharing or vanpooling 17%
Subsidized transportation 8%
Relocation assistance 7%
Bike-to-work program 4%
More flexible work schedules 1%
None of these 59%
* Multiple responses were allowed
“Employers may be missing an opportunity to improve morale and reduce turnover by helping their staff cope with the burden of rising gas prices. Often, it can be as simple as communicating to employees what programs are already in place,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies. “Companies can build loyalty and motivation by showing employees that they are empathetic to their concerns during challenging times.”
It’s time for you to consider some changes before you lose all your workers. Get a team together and brainstorm what can be done that will help both employees and your company. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled with the results.
Talk to me. What are you doing for your employees to alleviate the pain of high gas prices? Leave me a comment.