Is your company plagued by commuting issues? Understanding commuting patterns has likely been recommended as a way to tackle the problems. Commuter surveys have many practical uses. They are popular among companies looking learn the workplace travel needs.

According to research, 23% of all employees will quit a job because the commute is too stressful. So now more than ever it’s vital to develop clear insights into your employees commuting habits. These insights allow you as an employer to make the decisions you need to attract and retain top talent.

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What is a commuter survey?

“A commuter survey is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a company wide survey to gain a better understanding of how your employees get to and from work everyday.”

Many commuter questionnaires will also include questions about work-based travel during office hours. This allows companies to develop a broad picture of their employee travel demands.

Key benefits of a commuter survey

There are multiple benefits to running workplace travel surveys. Many companies leverage them to gain insight on how they could make it easier to get to work.

In a more sustainable world, employers are constantly monitoring their carbon footprint. Businesses are putting greater stock in workplace transportation surveys. This allows them to monitor the travel choices of their staff. While also tracking the impact of schemes targeted towards more responsible travel.

What type of commuter survey questions should I ask?

Designing a commuter survey takes a little bit of skill. Obviously the layout of your survey will depend on what your objective is.

If you are looking to conduct a general study, you will break it out into a number of key sections:

i) Employee Profiling

Gather information about the responder. Investigate their level within the organisation and their length of tenure. Find out any personal information which might be impacting their travel choices (young families, health issues).

“Flesh out information around where employees are travelling from on a daily basis. Do they travel from a fixed location or multiple locations?”

This depends on their personal circumstances and also the permanency of locations (e.g. are they renting or do they own the house).

ii) Employee Travel Choices

Once you’ve built a profile of the responder, flesh out an understanding of their travel preferences. You are looking to gain an in-depth understanding of where the employee is working from? How they travel to work? how long this takes them? And how much it is costing them?

iii) Company Impact

What does this all mean for your company? Your next step is to figure out what time people arrive at the office? And what commuting infrastructure they use (parking, cycling facilities)?

iv) Employee Satisfaction

Just because an employee is travelling to work in a certain way doesn’t mean they are happy about it. Here is your chance to figure out the impact that existing commuting issues are having on your staff. This allows you to identify the real pain points.

v) Employee Feedback

Finally it’s important to give your employees the chance to share their ideas. They are experiencing commuter issues everyday trying to access your office. Let them inform you of ways that you could improve.

“It is important when putting together your survey to avoid looking at commuting as a fixed or a linear habit for employees. Give people ample opportunity to show how they commute in different ways.”

Maybe they cycle when the weather is nice and get the bus when it rains. Maybe they drive and take the bus as part of the same journey. Make sure to give your staff the scope to show your company how they travel.

How should I use the commuter survey results?

So you’ve conducted your survey, what comes next? Unfortunately a lot of companies just leave the survey on the shelf and never truly get value from the experience. There are three simple steps you can take to maximise the value from your commuter survey.

i) Build a report

You need to commute the findings of your survey. Take the information and build a simple report. This allows you to broaden understanding and buy-in across the business.

ii) Develop an employee travel plan

It’s time to act, you need to put all your newfound insights to work. You now know your companies commuter pain points. It is vital that you build a workplace travel plan or employee travel plan to tackle these commuter issues.

Maybe you need to get more out of your car park, potentially you need to start a shuttle bus service. In fact there are lots of ways around managing and changing how your employees get to work.

Find out how to manage parking, cycling, running, walking and public transport with these handy guides.

iii) Rinse & repeat

Commuter surveys as a once-off snapshot can generate some good insights. However, the value really comes in conducting the reports on an annual basis.

Companies can establish their baseline for all travel behaviours. Allowing them to monitor the impact of all travel demand measures as they move forward. This ensures that bad commutes become a thing of the past.

Conclusion

If commuter issues are rearing their head again and again, commuter surveys are a great place to start. They give you the information your company needs to act, allowing you to create a workplace experience that your team deserves.

Looking for a bespoke commuter survey for your business, contact [email protected] for more information.

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