Parking spaces at work: dream or nightmare?

Fotolia_64497935_M To many people the daily commute to work is a ritual. Statistics by the United States National Household Travel Survey show that the car is still the number one choice when it comes to commuting in the US. Out of a total of 128 million commuters, a staggering 96 million Americans drive to work every day.[1] While the ride can be exhausting at times, often things become stressful upon arrival at the office. The search for a parking spot is an unnecessary obstacle. Should you have the right for a parking spot at work?

Test the waters!

Wouldn’t it be great to have a clause in your contract ensuring a parking spot at work? While hardly any company makes such promises, actually it’s the opposite that’s happening at the moment. Urban space becomes a luxury and so companies cut down on space as well. Often, it’s the parking lot that has to go first. It depends on your individual situation whether you can insist on guaranteed parking or not. For example, if you’ve been parking on the company’s premises for years (particularly on a spot marked out for you only) you could argue that the parking spot has become part of your working conditions. In Britain, councils are likely to introduce parking schemes where employers have to pay for their employees’ parking spaces. However, be aware of the fact that some employers pass on the cost to their employees again. This can be very costly! The strongest argument you can bring forward is that you need your car for work. In that case, your employer would stand in the way of you doing your job well if it didn’t provide a parking spot.

There are alternatives

Some universities make a deal with their employees. If one works a certain amount of hours per week at the university then parking is guaranteed. When the spot is empty it’s rented out to the city. In cities with a well-functioning public transport system, companies often buy a season ticket for their employees or encourage them to cycle by providing a bike rental subscription for the entire year. In the end, there are multiple ways to avoid a daily parking spot fiasco. What do you think? Are you satisfied with the parking at your company’s premises?

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