In the wake of the pandemic, many companies were forced to transition to a remote work model. With the pandemic seemingly coming to an end, many employers are beginning to consider bringing back their commuting options. It’s no secret that commuting can be a drag. Not to mention, it can be costly. But what if there was a way to make commuting less of a burden? What if there was a way to save money on transportation costs and, as a result, increase productivity and happiness at work? There is—and it’s called commuter benefits.
What Are Commuter Benefits?
Commuter benefits are employer-provided benefits that help employees cover the cost of their commute, including mass transit and parking, on a pre-tax basis. Beniversal Commute combines convenient access to funds through the Beniversal® Prepaid Mastercard® with compliant, streamlined administration. As we mentioned previously, the biggest perk of commuter benefits is that they’re tax-free. That means employees can save up to 40% on their commute costs. For example, if an employee spends $100 per month on public transit, they would only have to pay $60 after taxes with commuter benefits. And since commuter benefits are paid with pretax dollars, employers also save on payroll taxes. It’s a win-win!
The Pros of Commuting
If you ask people who have been working from home during the pandemic, there are some definite pros to commuting back to an office or workplace. Many employees report missing their colleagues and finding it difficult to stay motivated while working remotely. Furthermore, clear boundaries between work and personal life can be hard to maintain when both take place under one roof at home. For these reasons, many people want to return to physically separating their work and personal lives by going into an office daily or at least on a hybrid schedule.
Are Commuter Benefits Worth It?
Absolutely! Offering commuter benefits is a great way to attract and retain talent. What’s more, offering commuter benefits can help improve employee productivity and satisfaction. For many people, commuting provides the essential structure for their day. This can help them focus on their daily tasks and reduce stress. Commuting also allows employees to disconnect from work when they come home at night and spend quality time with friends and family without worrying about work obligations or emails.
Commuting also helps create a sense of workplace camaraderie that can be missing when everyone is working remotely. When workers are able to meet up in person, they are able to develop stronger relationships with their colleagues and create an environment where collaboration is easier and more effective. Plus, in-person meetings tend to be more productive than virtual ones because participants are able to actually see each other’s faces and pick up on body language cues much easier than on video calls or online messaging platforms.
It looks like we’re slowly returning to our pre-pandemic routines but with extra safety measures in place. Employers need to make sure that they have enough space in their offices for everyone who wants (or needs) to return without compromising social distancing requirements or putting any staff members at risk. That said, flexible working arrangements may still be necessary in some cases as not all employees feel comfortable commuting just yet or have other reasons for preferring remote working arrangements over coming into an office daily. In any case, employers should keep up with local health guidance and adjust their policies accordingly when needed.
The pandemic has changed many aspects of how we work, but it looks like we are slowly returning to normalcy with extra precautions in place! As we move forward with returning to offices or workplaces, employers need to make sure that they are still providing flexible working arrangements as needed since not everyone may feel comfortable commuting just yet.
The bottom line is offering commuter benefits is a no-brainer for employers who want to attract and retain top talent. Employees appreciate having access to these benefits and tend to be more productive at work and take fewer sick days. What’s not to love? If you’re not already offering commuter benefits at your workplace, now is the time to start! Your employees will thank you—and so will your bottom line.