Why do you need a parking lot control system at your office? The answer is simple. Within your office area premises, do you where your employees’ safety may be most at risk? 

Answer: Parking lot

According to CBS News, one in five vehicular accidents happen in the parking lot. The National Safety Council reported an average of 60,000 injuries and at least 500 deaths from 50,000+ accidents that occur in parking lots or garages annually. 

In addition, a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that 10% of crimes occur in parking lots or garages, while as much as 80% of crimes in shopping malls and apartment complexes happen in the parking lot. 

While parking lot accidents are mainly due to drivers being distracted with their mobile phones, other usual causes are linked to drivers being fixated on an available parking space that they see, vehicles moving above the speed limit, and low visibility when the parking lot is crowded. 

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These findings point to what companies should aim for in the process of building their parking lot control system: 

  • Minimize congestion by controlling the influx and efflux of vehicles
  • Proper allocation of parking slots to avoid two vehicles vying for the same space
  • Ensure that no unauthorized vehicles and individuals are allowed entry to the parking lot 
  • Keep the area well-lighted, with enough signages to maintain correct flow of traffic
  • Establish clear guidelines and policies on the proper use of the parking lot

What is a parking lot control system? Some might think that it just involves the entry point– how vehicles gain access to the parking lot, and the exit point – when vehicles exit the premises. However, we believe that in between entry and exit, parking lot operators should take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of both property and people inside the parking lot, and to provide a smooth and satisfactory experience for the users. 

In the workplace setting, a safe parking experience is part of an organization’s obligation of providing a safe working environment

A parking lot control system includes the following: 

Access and checking controls at the entrance and exit points

How vehicles gain access into the parking lot may come in one or the combination of the following forms: a physical gate, manual checking by a parking attendant / security personnel, automated access control using hardware or technological tools, and the use of a parking management software to allocate and assign slots to users. 

A boom barrier is the most common type of physical gate in the workplace parking lot, and control for opening or closing can be done manually via a human attendant or an access control system installed at the entry point. 

There are different kinds of car park access control systems

  • Ticket / card dispensers 
  • RFID sensors- used to scan tags, stickers, key cards or fobs
  • PIN code reader
  • Mobile phone-based access system
  • License plate recognition (LPR) cameras

If payment is collected at the exit, this may be done manually by a parking attendant or a centralized cashier, or an automated payment machine.

A parking management software can be used by its own in controlling access or may be integrated with manual or automated access controls. There are key differences in handling an office car park’s operations versus commercial parking lots, and we recommend that you choose a software which specializes in parking management in the workplace setting, such as ParkOffice.io

Instead of using spreadsheets to allocate and assign slots to employees, a parking management software helps you do these efficiently with the use of a mobile app, including monitoring usage and re-allocating available slots in real-time. Data from the software can then be provided to the parking attendants or directly into the automated access control system, for immediate implementation.

ParkOffice.io automatically records data, so you can check the list of vehicles that used the car park during a certain date and time. This is especially useful when problems or issues arise and an investigation needs to be done. 

Security measures

CCTV cameras have been proven to be highly effective in deterring crime and questionable acts in any location. There should be visibility at the entrance, exit and other key areas within the parking lot and security personnel watching the CCTV monitors 24/7. 

Records should then be maintained for a period of at least 31 days- but check with your local government, in case they have a different requirement for this. In case of disputes or accidents, these video footage would be a powerful tool in catching wrongdoers.

Emergency call stations are booths with an emergency button or a phone handset that connects directly to the security or admin office. This provides a way for people to immediately ask for help, in case of threats, problems, accidents, vehicle breakdown, or problems with parking facilities. 

Of course, some companies still opt to go old school- a roving patrolman to check for possible problems within the car park. 

Improve your parking lot’s physical appearance and fixtures to improve overall safety- make sure it is well-lighted, fix cracks and damages on the floor, install mirrors and other safety signals, and remove hazards such as debris and trash from the area.

Parking lot policies

Your car park, your rules. To instill order and control in the use of your workplace parking lot, you should make policies in relation to its usage and these should be posted clearly around the parking area. 

Some of the common policies implemented in car parks are: 

  • Payment for property damage
  • Restrictions on idling time- many disallow sleeping inside the vehicle or leaving the engine running while parked
  • Speed limits
  • Directional signs
  • Turning on of headlights (for indoor parking)
  • Prohibition of mobile phone usage while driving

Benefits of an office parking lot control system

Creating an office parking lot control system may require time, effort and money investments, but the benefits usually outweigh the costs in the long-term. 

Maintaining proper management and control in your car park can lead to the following benefits for your organization:

Safety and security

Keeping property and people safe in your parking facility is imperative and should always be your top priority. 

Given that parking lots are hotspots for accidents and criminal activities, controlling access is your first step in making sure that only permitted vehicles will be allowed entry. Car parks may be interconnected to the office entrance too, and once people with ill intent enter your parking lot, they might be able to access your workplace quickly. 

Once vehicles enter your premises, remember that it is your obligation to ensure safety of people and properties.

Keeping your parking lot secure is also your way of protecting your company, because whether you like it or not, you will be held liable for anything that happens on company grounds. 

Efficiencies

Managing parking slots allocation is a challenging and thankless job- it is time-consuming for a person to manually keep track of the in’s and out’s of vehicles, and to decide which vehicles should get priority parking. 

Creating a parking lot control system, especially one that is automated, would let your facility run almost by itself, minimizing the need to intervene. This ensures a smooth experience for your employees, as permitted users can gain access without delay. 

With the use of a parking database or software like ParkOffice.io, users can even get advance information whether or not they get a slot for the day, via the mobile app. This helps minimize traffic around the area, and control the influx of vehicles, especially during peak hours.

Increased job satisfaction

Feeling cared for translates to higher job satisfaction and overall better performance for employees. 

It’s a known fact that many people experience car park anxiety– with studies suggesting that Londoners have the highest parking-level stress levels. It’s no wonder that a smooth and efficient parking lot experience for employees is now one of the most sought-after fringe benefits in the workplace. 

A stress-free parking experience also starts and ends the employees’ working day on a positive note, increasing the overall levels of job happiness and satisfaction. 

Cost savings

You cannot avoid 100% of accidents and problems that may occur inside the parking lot, but it is worth trying to keep it as safe and secure as possible. Problems such as accidents, property damages, and worse, human injuries or even death can lead to costly lawsuits, expenses and headache for the company and the people involved. 

A sustainable office parking lot control system can work for the long-term with occasional tweaks and improvements, so this minimizes the time, cost and effort of re-assessing and re-developing your plans, every few months.

You might think that you don’t need to devote a lot of time and attention to your car park, but in reality, it’s an extension of your workplace that requires the same level of care as your working areas. 

A well-crafted office parking lot control system is an investment of time, money and effort- but the good news is: once you have created a robust system, it will help you manage your car park with minimal time, effort and stress. 

Get expert advice from professional providers who are masters in the field of office parking, and you will soon enjoy the benefits of safety and security, efficiencies, high employee job satisfaction and cost savings for your company. 

ParkOffice.io is your partner in solving your office parking problems now and for the long term.

Find out why it is the trusted parking management software of industry leaders from companies like Sanofi, Indeed.com & CBRE- schedule a demo today!

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