Surveys are a critical component of a workplace commuting options program. They can serve multiple purposes:
- Establish a baseline on how employees currently get to work
- Identify changes that would motivate employees to shift to active and green types of commuting
- Help determine any shifts in commuting behaviour after implementing changes.
They can be as basic as a few questions asking people how they typically get to work or a detailed survey that identifies greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with commuting and a clearer picture of improvements that are most likely to result in employees choosing an active or green commute.
GoHappy: Workplace Commuter Consulting by Green Action Centre
Green Action Centre can develop and deliver a wide range of employee surveys specifically designed to fit your organization’s needs and budget.
For example, we have worked with Assiniboine Credit Union since 2009, to develop and deliver annual employee commuting surveys, and provide recommendations based on the results. See ACU’s results here.
“Over the last six years, Assiniboine Credit Union has used employee commuting surveys developed in conjunction with Green Action Centre’s Workplace Commuter Options program to create and implement a number of green and active commuting initiatives. They have provided ACU with great ideas for engaging our employees year-round on the health and wellness (and financial) benefits of green and active commuting. Our programs are more effective than ever because of our partnership with Green Action Centre.”
– Dennis Cunningham, Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Assiniboine Credit Union
Here is a brief outline of elements to consider for employee commuting surveys.
Before your workplace introduces any commuting programs (e.g. EcoPass, carpool matching), it is critical to gather baseline data. It will help you identify which programs would be the best fit for your workplace and if any of the programs, policies or incentives that you introduce have had an impact on commuting choices. A basic baseline survey should tell you, at a minimum, the percentage of employees who are currently getting to work by driving alone, carpooling, walking, cycling, transit, and telecommuting.
Motivational questions can address some of the reasons why people choose their current method of travel, and whether they would be interested in trying a new mode, including what incentives, facilities, programs or policies may influence their choices. Including motivational questions in your employee commuting survey will help you to identify the programs that can have the biggest impact on travel choices at your workplace – before you make an investment.
Once you have completed the baseline survey and started to introduce some commuting program improvements at your workplace, it’s helpful to know what is working and what isn’t, and what further opportunities exist. Annual employee commuting surveys help you to evaluate the impact of any changes and to see patterns over time, which help you direct your efforts most effectively.