The Parker Blog:

Is the Seattle Commute Deterring Potential Employees?

How have your employees been coping with the Seattle commute? Are you finding it difficult to get people to work for you due to your location?

You are not alone. While housing prices in our region continue to rise and turn your workers into full-time commuters, we’ve seen our region’s highway congestion turn into some of the worst in the nation. Though you may have a great opportunity for an administrative assistant, some may wince at the thought of commuting daily into overwhelmingly high-traffic areas like Downtown Seattle and Bellevue.

How Can I Ease My Commuting Employees’ Pain Points?

There are a plethora of ways to attack this problem. Some of our clients have even utilized a number of strategies to tackle these commuting issues. To insure that they will have enough people to get the job done, some our clients have tried the following:

  1. A 40 hour, 4 day work week. Companies have found that condensing the work week into four days can actually be seen as a workplace benefit, as many workers believe they already work 9-10 hour days. Essentially, for the same amount of work being done, employees may feel they are being rewarded with an extra day to themselves. 
  2. A hybrid remote/in office solution that allows workers to skip the heavy traffic and come in when traffic is lightest. Workers can log into their email over breakfast in their pajamas and drive into work when the highways clear. This takes advantage of traffic patterns specific to your location.
  3. A flexible employee base that can grow and shrink as business demand. It can be hard to staff permanent openings when you have a job site that is remote or far from transit. Companies have been turning to staffing firms as a way of managing their employee base. These employees fill in for permanent roles while the HR department finds just the right fit.

If your employees are struggling with the Seattle commute, consider doing trial runs of any of the options above – or maybe even talk to your current employees to come up with solutions customized for and catered to them. It’s important to do something – not nothing – as the Puget Sound region continues to grow in population (and sadly, traffic).

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