Parking at work can lead to problems that can affect both management and employees and hamper the overall company culture. There are ways in which such issues can be avoided or managed. One way can be to reduce the number of vehicles, thereby reducing the demand for parking spaces. This can be done by promoting carpooling and encouraging employees to opt for public transportation. Not only will these measures solve many parking troubles, but they are relatively environment-friendly ways of commuting to work.
Additionally, spreading awareness about parking etiquette and securing employee participation in solving such issues can help to a great extent. Employees may be rewarded for coming up with solutions and adopting better and greener modes of travel. It may also help to issue employee/staff parking permits and reserve parking spaces. This can prevent unauthorized vehicles from occupying the parking and make employees feel at ease without worrying about the safety of their vehicles or the struggle to find a space.
An Employee Parking Permit is a parking control device designed to identify who gets to park where and, at times, till when. Usually available as stickers and hang tags with the company name, logo, identifying number, etc., displayed, these permits go on or inside the employee’s vehicle. They help the parking staff identify authorized users without cumbersome personal checks and inquiries. This ensures efficient parking space management and promotes safety by way of validation.
Lost/stolen Employee Parking Permits must be reported to the issuing authority as soon as possible. In most cases, you will be issued a new/replacement permit at a certain cost. Some facilities also offer temporary permits for a limited duration, after which new permits may be purchased.
While this largely depends on the rules and policies of the issuing authority, Employee Parking Permits are generally individual-specific and may not be transferred to another person. Many organizations, such as The University of Tennessee, allow the same permit to be used across different vehicles of the same individual. The transferability clause may be different for carpool situations where the members share the permit, as is the case here, for example.
Managing parking space and struggles at work can be a lot simpler if both employees and employers are mindful of certain things. Employees should refrain from parking their vehicles in spaces not meant for parking and from taking up spaces reserved for someone else. It is also avoidable to park diagonally as that takes more space and to leave the vehicle parked for days. Employees should do their part to keep the parking area clean and follow the rules set up by the parking and/or general management.
As for employers, while it may seem reasonable to grant special parking access or right to a certain individual or individuals (except as required under ADA), it can often be perceived as a bias. Employees may feel discriminated against, and this can breed an unhealthy work culture. Employers should implement a fair parking policy and ensure any sort of discrimination is neither encouraged nor ignored.
Given how valuable and cherished parking spaces have become, these can certainly be dealmakers and deal breakers for employees and employers. The mere availability of parking in a workspace can be a morale booster in its own right. It saves employees the time and effort to commute and search for a parking spot. It also gives them the mental peace that their vehicle is safe.
Additionally, employers can use parking spaces as incentives. For example, a highly desirable space may be reserved for the employee of the month. These can also make coming to work easier for someone who is pregnant, recovering from an injury, etc. This displays that the employer cares about the well-being of their employees and helps build a more positive and healthy work environment.
As per ADA, where an employer provides parking, a certain number of parking spaces should be accessible. This number depends on the total number of parking spots available. Where an employer does not provide employee parking, they would not have to provide accessible parking. This holds in most situations. However, there may be certain local rules or regulations that mandate the provision of accessible parking, irrespective of whether an employer provides a general parking facility or not. Please check with your local authority for more accurate information.
When the number of accessible parking requests exceeds the number of available preferred spots, an employer may explore the technicalities to be fair and avoid being accused of discrimination. They may seek to understand which employees meet the ADA definition of disability and study their medical documents to determine who really stands to benefit from the spot. Discussing the issue with the employees in question may also resolve the problem. When nothing works and providing such parking presents undue hardship, the employer may simply deny the facility to certain employees.
This is a more general response, and the right thing to do may vary across cases and jurisdictions. Please contact your relevant local body for more relevant information.