With a growing light at the end of the tunnel - be ready for office working

With the vaccination rollout fully underway, now is the perfect time to start preparations for when we are ready to go back into the office, including where to park.

Lockdown has changed the way we work. It’s forced many of us to work from home and find ways to replace face to face meetings and interactions. But vaccines are here and with a rapid rollout underway they are anticipated to to free up the way we work again. At what speed this will happen is open to discussion at the time of writing. So, in anticipation of brighter days, now is the perfect time to start preparations for when we are ready to go back into the office on a regular basis.

We’ve all been through a few lockdowns now and you may have established some routines and plans to deal with the difficulties these bring along (we certainly have here at JustPark). Whilst a return to normality may still seem some way off, using time now to plan ahead will reap dividends in getting your organisation quickly back up to full speed over the coming months. 

Planning on how to allow employees to return safely to the office could include considering the number allowed in at any one time, putting a staggered attendance rota in place, new seating arrangements and providing consideration if newly established working habits mean employees may not want to be back in the office at all. 

There’s plenty of advice available for office set ups and we’ve already mentioned guidance from the government in a recent blog but if you anticipate more varied office attendance patterns from your team then there could be other support facilities needed to help, such as parking arrangements.

How can an employer help their staff come to work in a less stressful and safer way?

At the moment, public transport is struggling to find the right balance between capacity and safety. Many services have been reduced but will ramp up again as the UK moves out of lockdown. However, a question remains on how comfortable the public will be in re-adopting use of trains and buses.

Recent research by the RAC in November 2020 indicated that 57% of drivers felt that cars were of more importance now than before the pandemic started. Socially distanced travel arrangements are now a priority and whilst there are many reasons given for not wanting to use public transport (regularity, cost, lack of provision etc), 54% of drivers felt a car was a safer form of transport during a pandemic.

So when planning for a return to office working there may be more of your employees choosing to use their cars than ever before. Being ready to help with parking options for these ‘new’ drivers could be a good idea.

Changing patterns of usage

A car park that may have been regularly full in the past (your own or public ones) may now have a more variable usage pattern, possibly there will be higher peaks and lower troughs on the overall utilisation to contend with.

It’s perhaps safe to assume that parking demand will be more variable - some days there will be plenty of spaces available, perhaps on a Monday or Friday. But other days there may be little or no parking as employees choose to visit the office once or twice a week. So how can you or your employees know in advance what parking is available near to your workplace? And perhaps even pre-book spaces when required, helping remove one obstacle in catering for newly defined flexible (or regular) parking requirements?

Using an app like JustPark can provide better planning and safer parking options for employers and employees. It can show you where the nearest available parking is located and in many instances allow pre-booking. This can also help alleviate people’s parking anxiety and encourage a more regular return to the office if required. Parking anxiety is a real thing and something we looked at in a previous blog.

And by using JustPark you can do more. You can set up a business account which centralises the management and admin around parking needs. A business account provides the option of centralising the booking of spaces if you need to block book for a bigger team requirement or keep it so that individuals can book their own parking. Useful for those times when flexibility is needed over the days or even times during a day when parking is required.

The benefit of having a business account is that it provides a company (big or small) with a centralised view on the parking requirements. This means better planning for future needs as well as quicker and more efficient administration with less chasing of receipts as it’s all built into the system reports.

Full details on how our business accounts work can be found here.

It doesn’t have to be just for one driver, don't forget your fleets

As well as the individual parking options for a driver, the added benefit for companies with vehicle fleets is that we can help find overnight parking locations for multiple vehicles. This can be useful if there is work happening in remote locations that removes the option of returning to the home base for the night. A business account is also useful for fleet drivers if they are out during the day on calls or deliveries, allowing them to find the closest parking locations to their next stop point.

Setting up a business account is easy and only requires a few details to get going. Then the whole JustPark UK network of parking locations can be at your fingertips. Find out more on how we can help with fleet parking here.

We appreciate that considering your new parking requirements in a post Covid world will be only one of the many things on agenda’s in the coming months. So, we are here to help do our part in helping make it easier and safer for employees to return to office working - whatever your parking needs may be.

Find out more by contacting us today.

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