Smart Parking and the Corporate Campus #10: Trends in Commute Patterns

  Parking at a Corporate Campus seems like it should be an easy thing to measure. A company has this many employees working out of this campus, plus a small percentage set aside for guests, and that’s how many parking spaces are needed. But those in charge of facilities and transportation know it’s not that simple, and it gets more complex every day.

  According to the Wall Street Journal, IBM has been moving some of its people back to its offices. For decades IBM has been one of the leaders in promoting remote work. At times, over 40% of its employees have worked outside of the company’s offices, but now many of them are being instructed to start commuting into the closest regional office.

  Lots of people on both sides have argued for the merits and costs of working from home. Some people believe that remote work aids in recruiting by helping fit employee’s work life balance, makes workers more productive by having them work at their own pace, and can save money on costs associated with having someone in a cubicle. Others contend that having employees in the office boosts productivity and encourages collaboration with more face to face contact.

  The debate over whether employees can work from home or not does not just vary by company, but by department. IBM started by recalling certain departments but not others. A facilities manager may need to plan for a CMO who’s allowing his staff to work from home more to improve retention, leading to less parking needed on some days. Then the CTO may decide to end a work from home program to encourage collaboration among engineers, and facilities has to adapt again.

  One area not being focused on in this debate, however, is the facilities managers. For example. a transportation demand director being told that 2,000 workers who worked remotely will start showing up at their office in 30 days has a short time-frame to figure out where all these people will park!

  Smart parking solutions like Streetline give valuable data so facilities are always aware of exactly how much parking they are using on a daily basis, so they can respond quickly to the changing demands imposed on them by the business. A Transportation Demand Manager with a real-time Parksight report knows exactly where to assign parking to 200 newly-commuting engineers!