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Getting Your Employer to Chip In for a Costly Commute

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

With the employment line stretching around the proverbial block, more and more people are resorting to taking jobs far from home in order to make ends meet.  Unfortunately, this could make for a pretty hefty fuel expenditure when all is said and done, cutting significantly into your previously balanced budget.  But what can you do?  You need the job to pay your bills, even if you are spending a huge chunk of your earnings for the singular privilege of being stuck in gridlock for several hours each day.  Perhaps there is a solution, though.  Many employers these days are keen to improve their public image by offering additional benefits to employees, including some amount of restitution for commuting to and from the office.  Here are just a few suggestions you might make to your employer along those lines.

1. Carpool rewards.  If you have already managed to cut your costs by wrangling coworkers into carpooling, why not ask if the company will support your eco-friendly initiative by offering rewards to those that carpool?  Many companies are keen to do this not only for public bragging rights and brand image enhancement, but also because they actually like the idea of a cleaner environment and happy employees.  Rewards often take the form of gift cards, but if they’re willing to offer cash or loaded gas cards, even better.

2. Sponsored public transport.  Perhaps there is a park-and-ride program in your city or the building you work at is close to a metro stop.  By bringing this inexpensive alternative to daily driving to your employer’s attention you may be able to negotiate for some kind of employee program by which your company offers discounted (or even free) passes to workers that choose public transportation.

3. Work vehicles.  Even large corporations will generally only provide work vehicles to their top executives, but some forward-thinking companies have begun to offer in-office vehicles for employee usage.  Google, for example, has a whole fleet of electric vehicles at their headquarters specifically for employee use.  Of course, workers don’t use these for their commute, but they can utilize them to go out to lunch, run errands, or get to the airport (in other words, daily activities).  It might not be long, though, before some companies expand such services to include commutes.

4. Green vehicle incentives.  There’s no doubt that you stand to save a lot of money on the price of fuel by switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle, but the upfront cost of buying a new car may stop you cold.  However, your employer may be willing to offer incentives to employees that opt to purchase such vehicles for the purpose of commuting.  This could be anything from a mileage reimbursement to preferred parking in the company lot, but hopefully it will entail cash back of some sort.

5. Telecommuting.  This is a great way for a company to lower the employee out-of-pocket cost for commuting without actually offering any kind of payout.  Approach your business about setting up a program whereby those employees with a long commute may negotiate to work from home one or more days a week in order to cut the cost of commuting but still put in their regular hours.

Breana Orland writes for Limo Services in CT where you can find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs.

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