June 8, 2022
Four Cost Saving Tips for Employees Who Cannot Telecommute
Are you an employer or manager with employees who must come into the workplace for their roles? Not everyone can easily switch to taking the bus or biking, but that doesn’t mean that people who drive to work have to standby and bear rising gas prices. Read on for four tips that can help alleviate the pressure of rising gas prices on employees who cannot telecommute and must drive.
- Offer an alternative work week. Often, 8 hours per day is the default schedule. However, giving employees an option to work an extra hour or two each day in exchange for more days off can be one way to reduce their time in the car and spending on gas. If your employee has a longer commute, making the trip into your workplace less often, while still maintaining their total hours, can put more cash into their pocket. Common alternatives for people who might otherwise work 8 hours each day for five days each week are:
- switching to 10 hours each day for four days per week (known as 4/10) or
- working 80 hours during nine workdays instead of 10
- Sponsor a vanpool for your employees. If four or more of your employees are driving from the same direction, a vanpool could be a good solution to help cut individual costs of driving and maintaining their separate vehicles. Members of a vanpool may all meet at one location near their homes (such as a grocery store or carpool lot) or they can be picked up along the way to travel into work together. Through the VanRide program, TheRide provides a spacious vehicle and employers and/or commuters split costs of fuel and maintenance. Find more information on vanpooling into Washtenaw County here.
- Share ride matching resources. A less formal carpool may be an available option to lower fuel costs for employees who cannot or don’t want to use a vanpool. In southeast Michigan, commuters can link up with other individuals hoping to share all or part of their commutes (and split their costs) by visiting CommuterConnectMI.com or the free app (Google Play | AppStore). Once signed in, users can view and message other users who have similar commutes and schedules to discuss when and how to commute together. Successful carpoolers communicate clearly with each other about expectations (who will drive, timeliness, radio stations, splitting costs, etc.) in advance.
- Set up a pre-tax transportation benefit program. The IRS allows businesses to deduct up to $280/month before taxes from employee paychecks to pay for qualified transportation benefits. With these programs, employers can save on payroll taxes and employees do not pay income taxes on those costs. Find out more about this benefit here. Many companies that administer benefits like HSA and FSA also provide services to help employers set up and manage transportation benefits.
It is always wise to check with your business’ legal or human resources counsel about whether these options are applicable to your location and line of work. If you have general questions about these options, send a message to getDowntown.