Employees

How TravelWise Strategies can Improve Your Work Life

Utah's roadways are most congested during morning and evening commute times. Using TravelWise strategies to develop a game plan will help ease congestion, reduce energy consumption and improve air quality, which improves the quality of life for all of us.

Benefits

When implemented in the workplace, employees are the direct beneficiaries of the majority of TravelWise benefits. Employees are able to arrange their schedules to fit their lifestyles, put less wear and tear on their personal vehicles, save money on gas and car maintenance and feel empowered by knowing that they're pitching in to help the environment by improving air quality and reducing energy consumption and traffic congestion.

Getting Started

If you are interested in making TravelWise strategies a part of your work life, consider the following suggestions to help you get going:

You'll find more strategy-specific tips for employees in the Strategies section below. If your employer does not currently offer TravelWise work options, talk to them about the benefits of doing so.

Strategies

Public Transit: Be productive during your commute

Commuting via transit is regaining popularity due to several factors including the creation of better transit access and systems, the growing concern for the environment and the increasing ease of multi-tasking while riding. With more time to read, relax, listen to music or work during the commute, you can actually add time to your day. Plus, when you factor in the cost savings on gas, parking, car maintenance and wear and tear on your vehicle, transit becomes a rather appealing option.
    Tips
  • Take advantage of new legislation that allows employees to deduct up to $230/month from your gross income to pay for mass transit commutes
  • Plan your trip using the UTA Trip Planner

Teleworking: Cut out your commute

Just think of all the time you will save by not having to commute. Teleworking employees utilize e-mail, the Internet, phones and other telecommunications technologies to complete work. Teleworking can be done from home, a telecenter, the neighborhood coffee shop, on transit or just about anywhere you can get an Internet connection. You can even telework by having a conference call or video conference instead of a face-to-face meeting. By teleworking, you can decrease your commute time, increase schedule flexibility and improve your work environment and family life.
    Tips
  • Contact your supervisor or HR department to see if your work skills or position allow you to work remotely from your office
  • Determine how much time you will devote each week to teleworking (example: 1 or 2 days or more)
  • Ask if your company pays for the costs of telework arrangements such as computer equipment, network access, additional phone lines, printers and office equipment
  • Work closely with your manager so as to not feel "out of the loop" when attending onsite meetings
  • Make an effort to attend onsite meetings and social activities on a regular basis
  • Participate in company orientations and trainings on telework
  • Offer to give back part of your travel time savings to your employer in the form of added work time--making this a win-win program for all

Carpooling: Save gas and enjoy the company

The most obvious benefit from carpooling is reduced commuting costs including gas and general vehicle maintenance. Other important pay-offs include more personal time while traveling to and from work and less driving-related stress. With the expansion of high-occupancy vehicle lanes on Utah's roads, carpool commuters also realize better travel times by being able to utilize these facilities.
    Tips
  • Talk to your HR department about any carpool incentive programs that may be in place such as preferential carpool parking or reduced-cost parking
  • Use UTA to take advantage of the carpool matching software

Flexible Schedules: You decide when you want to work

With flexible work schedules, you will not be stuck in peak-hour traffic congestion, wasting fuel idling. Better yet, you can reduce your commuting and parking costs while feeling a sense of control over your work schedule and having a say in the hours you work. You may even find you have more personal time to spend with family or pursue other interests. At work, you can be more productive because you will have uninterrupted time for creative, repetitive or highly detailed work. Flexible work schedules can help you balance your work and personal life in a way that reduces stress.
    Tips
  • Check with the HR department on your company's alternative work schedule policy, which may include both compressed workweeks and flexible work hours
  • Discuss with your supervisor what schedule would work best for your department's work load as well as you personally; be sure to think about the work demands of your area

Active Transportation: Save money and get some exercise

Biking and/or walking to work can provide you with health benefits and reduce the cost of getting to work. Not only do you arrive to work relaxed and ready for the day, you also eliminate the stress that comes from driving in congestion, finding a parking space and purchasing gas. You also help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
    Tips
  • Check with your employer about incentives offered for biking or walking to work (example: a parking cash out)
  • Determine how far you need to travel to access another transportation mode, or if you will walk or bike the entire way to your destination
  • Make sure your bike is tuned up and fits you or that you have comfortable walking shoes
  • For biking, obtain necessary bike equipment such as a bike pump, blinking tail light, pant leg band, lock, water bottle and other equipment as needed
  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing such as breathable fabrics
  • Plan your route and then do a test ride or walk
  • Find a secure place to park your bike
  • Consider taking a change of clothes, or keeping a change of clothes in a locker at your destination
  • Check the weather before you go
  • Check with your HR department about tax incentives for cycling to work