Many contact centres suffer from a lack of car parking spaces for their agents. Here are some alternative ways agents can travel to work.
1. Minibus Pick-Up/ Drop-Off Service
If lots of your agents live in the same area and work the same shifts, you could try organising a minibus service to pick them all up and drop them home every day. This could be driven by different members of the team on a week-by-week rotation, or by a hired professional driver.
If there is enough interest, the divided cost could be a cheaper alternative to agents running their own cars or paying for bus tickets. If budget allows, this could also be funded (or part-funded) by the contact centre.
If this does prove popular, you could also host regular fundraising initiatives across the year (from bake sales, to car washes) to raise enough funds to buy your own minibus.
2. Set up a “Walk Share” Group
Like a car share, a walk share could make walking to work a fun and sociable transport solution for agents living within a reasonable distance of the contact centre.
One way to do this is to map a walk to the contact centre with designated pick-up points en route. You could also post requests on the noticeboard or company intranet, as well as set up multiple routes depending on the directions different people are travelling in from.
To encourage agent involvement, you could also set a “step challenge” in the contact centre – with a prize for the most steps tracked on a Fitbit each month.
3. Organise Lift Sharing Across Different Departments
Another way to reduce the number of cars in the car park is to encourage agents to share lifts with one another. This could mean you only need to find one car parking space instead of three.
While some agents will probably have already arranged this casually themselves, starting a lift-sharing scheme managed by the Human Resources (HR) team can have a big impact on uptake, for example by pooling people’s home addresses and making introductions across departments.
An organised scheme can also make sure people pay in what they owe, and that drivers receive the correct amount of petrol money too – making it fairer and cheaper for everyone.
4. Make It Easier for Agents to Try Public Transport Options
Buses, trains, tubes and even trams could all be valid methods of transport, depending on where your contact centre is.
Make it easier and more attractive for your agents to use the public transport options available by doing the research for them. For example, provide up-to-date timetables as well as walking maps showing how to get to the contact centre from the nearest bus stop or train station.
If you have a bus or train that comes on an hourly or half-hourly schedule, you should also try and time the start and end times of your shift to fit in with these.
This information can be provided in your welcome pack for new starters and be stored on your company intranet page. Just make sure someone keeps an eye out for any changes and possible disruptions, otherwise you may find 10 of your agents “disappear” on the same morning.
(If limited car parking spaces are becoming a big problem for your agents, you could also look to subsidise these travel costs to help increase uptake.)
5. Try a Cycle to Work Scheme
Another way to encourage agents to leave their car at home is to set up a Cycle to Work Scheme. This can be provided to your agents as a ‘salary plus’ arrangement, or through a salary sacrifice arrangement – depending on your budget.
You should also consider:
- Where your agents are going to leave their bikes during the day
- Changing and locker facilities
- If there is a bike repair service nearby
It can also be beneficial to provide a shower facility at work. In the grand scheme of things, it can be relatively inexpensive to install a shower in one of the toilet areas, but it means that if staff run or cycle to work, they can get cleaned up and refreshed before they start their shift.
For more information on implementing a Cycle to Work Scheme in your workplace, read Cycle to work scheme implementation guidance on GOV.UK
6. Start up a “Run to Work” Challenge
You could also try setting up a “run to work” challenge. This could be paired up with a “ride the bus” scheme, so agents can take the easier option home at the end of the day.
A reasonably fit person should be able to run 3 miles in about half an hour. This could be a good alternative for people who normally drive the short distance to the office – and an opportunity to increase their fitness.
Again, you will need to consider the practicalities of having on-site changing rooms, showers and locker facilities if you are expecting agents to work up a sweat on the way to work.
What have you tried in your contact centre to compensate for a small car park?
Put your thoughts in an email to Call Centre Helper.