So do you need a parking gate system for the office?

In the pre-COVID workplace, a survey by The British Parking Association revealed that employees were spending an average of 90.5 hours or roughly 4 days per year, just looking for a parking space. 39% of the respondents also stated that finding a space to park their vehicle is stressful. 

Some companies are fortunate enough to have their own parking lot, but concerns on how to allocate limited slots and manage the facility efficiently and fairly remain to be a challenge for many. 

One major issue is the control on the use of the parking lot, and a question that has been asked frequently is: Do we need a parking gate system? 

A parking gate system is the set of methods used to control access to the facility- with the use of physical installations such as boom barriers or a rolling gates, combined with an automated access control port, such as card / ticket dispensers, RFID card / fob sensors, license plate recognition (LPR) cameras, mobile phone-based access system, PIN code reader, etc., placed at the entry and exit points.

Do you need one for your office parking facility? There are several factors to consider: 

Location

Security and safety should always remain to be top priorities in any office property, and this is highly-dependent on your parking lot’s location. 

Are you located in the middle of a busy city centre? Are you operating from the more secluded outskirts of the city? 

Is your parking lot easily accessible by outside vehicles? Or is it inside a gated compound? 

If your parking facility is located in a high-traffic area, you might need to invest in a security gate to protect your property from illegal entry. The crime rate in your location would also be a major factor to consider. 

However, if your parking lot is not easily accessible by non-employees, such as if it’s inside a secured company compound, a gate might not be a necessity. 

Usage 

Is your parking for the exclusive use of employees or do you open it to outsiders, to maximize its use? 

With the hybrid work setup post-COVID, parking lots might not be as fully utilized compared to before people started working remotely. With this, some companies are opting for shared real estate spaces and this includes the use of parking spaces. 

If individuals outside your organization will be using your parking lot, then it would be advisable to have a gate system to control entry and exit, especially if you will be collecting a parking fee. 

When you have problems with allocation of the slots, which occurs when demand is higher than available spaces, having a gate system will allow you to have more control over the influx of vehicles. 

Property ownership

Do you own your office building / compound or is it a leased property? Installing a parking gate system comes with financial costs. Ideally, you would like to maximize the use of the system for the long-term. 

If you are unsure as to how long you will be staying in your current location, then it might be best to hold off on more permanent installations. 

You might also need to check your lease contract, to know what types of changes and installations you can make on the property. 

Financial costs

A basic single-gate, keypad entry system can set you back between $4,000 to $6,000, without the service costs yet. More gates and more sophisticated access and monitoring systems will entail higher monetary investments. 

Prices will change based on wherever you are in the world and the size of your parking operations, so always make sure to conduct the proper research necessary before committing to a parking gate system. 

Work with providers with excellent warranty terms and after-sales service, as breakdown and repairs can be quite costly too, if not covered by a warranty.

A parking gate system will definitely keep your parking lot more secure, prevent illegal entry and usage, and help you control access, but the sizeable financial costs, along with the regular maintenance and service fees, are not things to be taken lightly- especially since you probably will not earn revenue from your office parking lot (unless you are charging a parking fee). 

If you are not ready to commit long-term to a parking gate system, are there other more cost-efficient alternatives? 

Hire a parking attendant / security personnel 

Doing things manually might not be the quickest way to get things done, but a parking attendant or security personnel can serve the purpose of keeping the parking lot secure and preventing illegal access. 

Having a human being on site can make certain users feel more comfortable too, as they know that they can call on someone to assist them, when problems or issues arise. 

The presence of a roving parking patrolman can also deter people from committing malicious or criminal acts inside the parking lot. 

Use a parking management software

In different industries, mobile apps have been used to make hotel reservations, order food, hail rides, etc. 

In the world of parking management, mobile apps and software can help companies manage their parking spaces in an efficient and contactless way. A robust parking management software such as ParkOffice.io uses a special algorithm to allocate parking slots for users, based on the company’s inputs on their reservation, priority and preference guidelines. 

Employees can check the mobile app before leaving for the office, to check for available spaces, make reservations, and log-in and out via the app, once they arrive / leave the premises. 

A parking management software / mobile app even stores data, so the company can monitor usage and make informed decisions on how to maximize their parking lot. 

Most mobile apps have a monthly subscription rate, so you can try them first for a small fee. ParkOffice.io, for example, starts at a fee of only $5 monthly. 

Install CCTV cameras in key areas

Various studies have reported that CCTV cameras are highly effective in preventing crimes against people and property. 

Having cameras in key areas, such as entry and exit points and several locations inside the parking lot, and having a guard stationed to view the monitors 24/7, can help you safeguard your parking activities from a centralized location. 

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parking management. A strategy that works well in one location may not necessarily yield the same results for another. 

A good idea is to combine some of these different ideas to find a plan that works for your organization, and within your budget. 

For example, the combination of a boom barrier, parking attendant and a parking management software can prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering and the guard can allow entry to permitted vehicles based on data from the parking management software. 

No matter what option or combination you choose, it should make your parking management process more efficient and effective, and help keep your employees and parking lot safe and secure. 

ParkOffice.io is your contactless and affordable partner in keeping your parking lot secure! 

Schedule a demo now and discover why industry leaders from companies like Sanofi, Indeed.com and CBRE trust only ParkOffice.io for their parking management needs. 

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