Green Biz recently released its Annual State of the Green Business report. The 70+ page report addressed 10 unique sustainability trends – and one stood out above all the others: transit-oriented workplace initiatives.
Millennials’ fastest growing issue is how they get to work.
“[Companies] attracting millennials are embracing sustainable development goals and offering financial incentives or perks to encourage employees to rethink their commute.”
One reason that businesses put sustainable initiatives in place is to attract and keep the best and brightest employees. Businesses listened when millennials demanded high tech equipment, rejected the cubicles, and sought out workplace wellness. The next thing employers should offer are better ways to get to work.
According to the Green Biz report, transportation and commuting are a particularly hot topic. Bank of America offers employees a $3,000 incentive to purchase a fuel efficient vehicle. Businesses are installing car charging stations in their parking lots for electric cars. Paladino and Company reimburses employee metro station fees and transit cards. When Expedia announced their plan to move their corporate HQ from suburban Bellevue to urban Seattle, the strongest reactions were focused on access public transportation.
As demographics shift and millennials start to lead the workforce, they are sending blatant signals that they expect a change in workplace culture and more sustainable work places.
We can agree that sitting in traffic is awful; no one wants to sit in a car for an hour to drive six miles. But if workers can take the bus, ride a bike, take the metro, or carpool in a fuel efficient car – and be rewarded for doing so? It’s a no-brainer. They will do it. Which means they’ll spend less time stuck in traffic and be more engaged at work. And most importantly, it means that people are working for a company with values and abundant thinking. Hook, line, and sinker.
What can workers expect other than transit-oriented sustainability initiatives? There are nearly limitless sustainability strategies being deployed in the workplace. Predictions have been made about design trends or health and wellness, but there is no one size fits all solution. It is in demand – that much we know. There are several corporate sustainability reporting and validation options – all overlapping and unique in their own ways.
Whatever the answer is, Green Biz predicts that the pace of change will accelerate during the latter part of the decade, which proves promising for future sustainability initiatives in the workplace.