How to Help Your Employees Take Advantage of Amenities Offered by Your Building or Coworking Studio

Mar 15, 2022

Zoë Randolph

Content Strategist

If your organization rents office space from a commercial real estate building or coworking studio, congrats! You’ve likely given your employees access to an array of commuting amenities that make it easier to travel into and out of the office. In fact, these amenities may have been a central reason that you signed the lease in the first place.

But just because they have access to amenities doesn’t mean your employees are taking full advantage of them.

Most amenities buildings offer fall into one of three types:

  1. Parking

  2. Active (i.e. walking or biking)

  3. Location-based (i.e. those available near the building, like public transit stops)

Each amenity type poses its own challenges when it comes to encouraging adoption, and many of these challenges are only exacerbated in a hybrid work environment in which few commuters do the same thing every day.

Luckily, helping commuters get the most out of the amenities offered by your building doesn’t have to be a headache. By deploying new, flexible approaches, you can help employees save money, save time, and reduce their dependence on single-occupancy vehicles.

Let’s take a closer look at managing each amenity type:

1. Parking

What parking amenities are available in CRE/coworking buildings?

Most buildings that include parking spaces will offer either monthly or daily parking passes to commuters either directly or via the tenant. Monthly passes allow the commuter to reserve a space every day in the month and pay up-front, while daily passes can be purchased on an as-needed basis. 

What’s the challenge with parking?

It used to be simple: Most commuters who drove to work did so every day, meaning purchasing a monthly parking pass was the obvious choice. Now, as many people come into the office less frequently, those with monthly passes often leave their parking spaces sitting empty, even though they’re paying for them.

Daily passes, while often more cost-effective, can be an administrative headache for operations teams as they struggle to keep track of who’s doing what every single day.

How can you help commuters take better advantage of CRE/coworking parking amenities?

The key to making daily parking work for employees and commute coordinators alike is to make flexibility simple. Commuter spending cards like Commutifi’s Mobility Card allow employers to set aside certain funds for their commuters and specify how they can be used. Rather than handling hundreds of separate expense reports every day, each parking pass is purchased through a central system that can be easily monitored. Plus, employees only pay for what they use. 

For a more advanced approach, many employers turn to a commute management platform like Commutifi, which allows them to keep track of how employees commute and automatically enroll employees in the plan that’s most cost-effective for their behavior. When and if that behavior changes, their parking plan will, too.

2. Active Commuting and Other Amenities

What active commuting and other amenities are available in CRE/coworking buildings?

Odds are, there are lots of great amenities available to your commuters that go far beyond parking and can help them transition out of drive-alone commutes. Examples include:

  • Bike rentals

  • Bike storage

  • Lockers

  • Showers

What’s the challenge with these amenities?

Less obvious than a parking garage, many employees aren’t aware of all the additional perks available to them. Even once people are aware, it can be difficult to shift commuting behavior, especially if people are used to simply driving in every day. 

How can you help commuters take better advantage of CRE/coworking active commuting and other amenities?

Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge. Consider promoting behavior change via micro-incentives. 

Your incentive program doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated: It can be as simple as giving back  $3 every time a commuter takes a bike instead of driving alone. 

Incentive programs can be done manually, or automatically if employees use a flexible rewards card like the Commutifi Mobility Card. With rewards cards, what commuters can do with that money is entirely up to you. Some organizations earmark rewards dollars for food at local restaurants or the building cafeteria, while others allow employees to put the cash toward company-supported nonprofit organizations. Others skip restrictions altogether and let employees use their Mobility Card rewards money exactly as they would a normal credit card. 

3. Location-Based Commute Options

What location-based commute amenities are available in CRE/coworking buildings?

Location, location, location: You didn’t choose your building at random! Coworking studios like WeWork and urban CRE buildings are often situated in prime locations, chosen specifically to make getting in and out as easy as possible. Many buildings are near:

  • Public transit stops

  • Public or private bike-share docks

  • Uber or Lyft hubs

What’s more, many buildings work with third-party vendors like carpool apps to offer alternatives to drive-alone commutes for people who work in their buildings. 

What’s the challenge with location-based commute amenities?

On paper, all the options are great. The proximity to transit and the ease of non-single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting is probably one of the reasons you chose this building in the first place. But things get complicated when it comes time to manage subsidies for a laundry list of commuting options. Who needs a transit card? Who’s using a carpool app? The answers change daily, and new options are always cropping up. 

How can you help commuters take better advantage of CRE/coworking location-based amenities?

Rather than try to oversee each available program separately, allow people flexibility with a flexible spending card like Commutifi’s Mobility Card. Ask your building management for an updated list of all the amenities available nearby or via the building, then open the card so that it can work on any of them. 

When it’s easy to take advantage of amenities, commuters will be more willing to try new things and see what works for them. And you’ll be able to encourage them without worrying about the extra paperwork.


Takeaways: Sometimes the Most Effective Strategy is Getting Out of the Way

Between selecting monthly vs. daily parking passes, spreading the word about building perks, and navigating the myriad commute options outside of the building itself, managing modern commuting is not for the logistics-averse. But even an operations superhero can’t hope to stay on top of everything using the manual, disconnected systems of the past. 

The good news is that you don’t have to. Rather than facilitating usage of each amenity separately, employee transportation coordinators can now use a centralized, flexible approach via commuter spending and rewards cards that allow you to exert just the right level of control over how, where, and when money is spent, as well as encourage the behavior you hope to see. 

To learn more about implementing a flexible spending card in your organization, request a demo with a commute expert. 

Better commuting starts here.

Better commuting starts here.

Better commuting starts here.