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flexible work commuter

What Flexible Work Could Mean for Commuter Benefits

June 9, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance to state that those who have received COVID-19 vaccines can “resume activities” like they did prior to the pandemic. When that happened, many employers whose employees were working from home due to the pandemic turned their eyes toward a return to the office

Whether you’re bringing your employees back to the office full-time, offering a hybrid, or even if your employees continue to work from home, their work-related driving and parking needs could reach or eclipse pre-pandemic levels. Fortunately, you can help them save on these expenses. 

What’s stayed the same

Only 14 percent currently work from home. For the 86 percent who aren’t working from home, their parking and work commute needs may not have changed in the last year.

In metro areas, leaving that car on a street or in a parking garage comes at a cost. In 2018, the average New York City driver spent more than $5,000 in annual parking costs. In other cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, and Boston, parking costs eclipsed $2,000 per driver per year. 

What could change

In December, 71 percent of employees said in a Pew Research survey that they were working from home most or all of the time in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 case numbers drop and vaccines increase, work could look very different for these employees. Some may be offered the opportunity to work from home full-time, while others may be given hybrid options. Either way, they could be leaving their homes more, which increases demand for commuting and parking. 

Even those who are working from home may actually drive more than they would if they were in an office. Climate scientists anticipate that private vehicle usage will actually increase from pre-pandemic levels. 

How you can support

Offering commuter benefits to your employees gives them an opportunity to save on work-related parking costs (and other work-related commuter costs) by setting aside pre-tax funds. You and your employees’ need for commuter benefits may have changed if your office transitioned entirely to work from home. As the country opens up, your employees may have the same commuter needs they had pre-pandemic. 

WEX makes it easy for your employees to spend their commuter benefits funds through a variety of parking mobile apps, including: 

  • PayByPhone
  • ParkMobile
  • LAZ Parking
  • SpotHero
  • Passport Parking
  • ParkWhiz
  • And more!

Your employees can also tap into their commuter benefits funds to save on eligible mass transit and vanpooling expenses

Would you like to learn more about commuter benefits and how important they are for the modern workplace? Get your free white paper. 

The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.

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