It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the way we work. With many businesses and organizations adopting hybrid work models, where employees split their time between working remotely and working from the office, how people interact with cities and the buildings, businesses, and infrastructure within them has been impacted. Parking, as a critical function of mobility, is no different.
Before the pandemic, parking demand was largely driven by the traditional 9-to-5 office hours. However, with hybrid work, employees are not required to come to the office every day, and when they do come in, it may not be for the full day. In fact, according to a survey by Leesman, 66% of employees expect to work from their organization’s workplace two days or less per week. While many companies are still perfecting and evolving their working models, office occupancy hovers around a nationwide average of 50% leaving many buildings underutilized. The lack of office utilization has also led to a decrease in overall parking demand as there are fewer employees commuting to work on any given day. This has especially impacted the demand for monthly parking subscriptions which used to be the standard for regular commuters.
To meet the needs of the new hybrid workforce and attract and retain tenants, office owners have added flexible workspace options to their portfolios. These flexible workspaces range from short-term leases to reservable shared conference spaces and desks. Parking options though have not evolved alongside their workplace counterparts, largely due to limitations with the antiquated technology used to manage them. To meet the needs of these new tenants, landlords may need to offer flexible parking solutions such as hourly or daily parking rates, shared parking spaces, and parking reservations.
It is important to note that the impact of hybrid work on parking demand is not uniform across all types of businesses and locations. For example, businesses located in suburban areas where public transportation is limited may still experience high demand for parking. Additionally, businesses that require a physical presence, such as manufacturing or healthcare facilities, may not have the same flexibility in adopting hybrid work models and may continue to require the same amount of parking as before. Implementing technology that provides the flexibility to change parking options based on tenant needs will give owners a competitive advantage.
The Vend Platform is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of this new hybrid workforce, both now and in the future. By combining a data-driven approach to managing your parking facility with the ability to digitize access and payments, parking can be marketed and sold in new ways. Owners can now create flexible passes that better fit changing work environments, sell subscriptions to increase retention, and provision sophisticated validations to drive more demand.
Read to learn more about how the Vend platform can help increase NOI and connect your parking real estate to the future? Schedule a demo.