Went to our parking office where I work to discuss the parking. Our office is starting to reopen after over 18 months of working from home (with the exception of a couple of key people who had to be onsite the entire time).
I don’t think they liked what I was saying to them, and didn’t appear to have thought about it, but much of what I’ve seen indicates that employees liked working from home, for the most part, and would very much like to continue doing so. I don’t think management was crazy about the idea initially, but as the pandemic has dragged on, and as they found that their employees were doing a good job while not sitting at a desk in the office, they began warming to the idea. I’m not just referring to my company; news headlines have mentioned more and more that the face of work is likely to change. That’s certainly what I’m seeing and I doubt our company is alone in that.
Sure, we’re talking business offices, not things like restaurants and such that require onsite personnel. But there are a LOT of businesses across the US (and world) and I think this idea is gaining traction.
The problem is, I don’t think the parking industry has considered their role in it. Most place I’ve worked, it’s pretty simple – pay for a month’s parking and park as often as you want during that month.
But if people only come into the office occasionally, they aren’t going to want to pay a full month’s parking fee to only use the garage for maybe 10 days/month. And if the parking industry doesn’t evolve to confront that issue, they may well find their revenues, which dropped so much during the lockdowns, don’t rebound. People will find other solutions on those few days they come in to the office.
I had suggested the parking people create a half month rate in some way, that allowed for a set number of days of parking each month (but not specifying which days they would be). I realize they may have difficulty finding a way to implement such a thing with their existing systems and procedures, but I really believe they would do well to do so. If businesses go back to the usual ‘everyone in the office pretty much every day’ scenario, they can drop that partial month scheme and return to just one set parking fee.
To be fair, the person I was talking to was not ‘the boss’ and could not make such a decision on their own, and I realize that. Still it will be interesting to see if her higher-ups pay attention or not.
People tend not to listen to me when I mention such things, but usually they eventually arrive at the same conclusion I did and have to act, though rarely acknowledging they should have simply listened to me in the first place. Almost invariably I don’t directly benefit from these things I bring up, so they have no reason to think it’s merely self-interest, and I always provide them with valid reasons to support my contentions.
We’ll see what happens.