In the business world, we spend a lot of time thinking about the physical space our companies inhabit. Every entrepreneur should know that everything, from lighting to plants, can impact productivity. This is the same in any industry. In retail or any other customer-facing role, it’s even more important. After all, it isn’t only your staff members who are going to see this space!
In truth, though, it isn’t always enough to worry about the internal aspects of a workspace. When your company grows large enough, it also pays to consider external features. If your workforce warrants it, that includes a staff car park. After all, your team will soon lose patience if they have to spend hefty amounts on parking daily elsewhere. In some instances, this expense could be enough to leave them looking elsewhere.
Nor is it enough to develop a basic car park. In truth, you need to put as much thought into this aspect of your business as you did with the internal features. For one, this is likely visible to all passers-by. So, making it look good is crucial for making a good impression. But effort here could also help with team morale and productivity during the workday. And, we’re going to look at how.
Any driver knows the pure frustration of those difficult-to-manoeuvre car parks. Nothing’s worse than knowing that, once you get in, you’re going to have a real job to get out again. In fact, after one bad experience, most of us avoid ever parking there again. The same goes for car parks with confusing layouts. After driving around three times in an attempt to get out, most of us lose our cool.
So, it should go without saying that you want to avoid these issues in your business car park. That means ensuring there’s plenty of space for cars to swing around, reverse, and even drive straight through it they need to. It also means keeping your layout simple. Don’t try to get smart here. A straightforward, one-way system is all you need. Fail to address these issues, and staff will come into work feeling flustered and annoyed. In fact, you can be sure that your name likely came up a few times while they raged at the ludicrous layout. And, naturally, staff members who start the day angry aren’t going to be as productive as you might like. Especially not if they’ve already been shouting and swearing about what a ridiculous person you are!
Staff are going to struggle to concentrate if there are no security measures in place for your car park. Ultimately, you can’t take legal responsibility for break-ins. You should state that somewhere around your car park. But, you can do whatever possible to make such breaches less likely.
There are a few different options here. One that’s non-negotiable is that of security cameras.So, as soon as you get the go ahead to design a car park, you should contact a commercial electrician who can install visible cameras. It’s worth installing these up high, as deterrents. You could also place some down low so that you have evidence should something happen. And, you should do regular tests on these cameras. That way, your employees don’t have to think twice about their vehicles when they’re working. It’s also worth installing lights in case of workers staying late. After all, a dark car park is easy pickings. You could get those high-up cameras mounted on lighting poles to further dissuade anyone from getting ideas.
Think, too, about something like an automated gate system. You could provide staff and any guests with passes for this. It may be a little extra effort, but you can be sure it’s an effort everyone will want to make if it means complete security.
Plenty of parking over designated spaces
Many companies opt to provide designated parking spaces, and it’s easy enough to see why. This ensures everyone knows where they’re parking. In theory, it should reduce arguing over spaces. In truth, though, putting colleague names to each spot could cause more arguments than you’d think. All it takes is for one person to park in the wrong space, and the whole system could fall. And, when that happens, you can be sure that arguments will ensue. Trust us that the fourth time colleague bickering happens because of this, you’ll wish you didn’t bother.
Instead, make sure to provide plenty of parking. In truth, designated spaces should only be relevant when there’s limited room on offer. So, you can do away with them all together this way. Hence, your team won’t fall out every single morning. That’s sure to boost productivity. It’ll certainly make your life easier, anyway.
Don’t forget disabled parking
There is, of course, an exception to the no-designated parking rule. By law, you have to provide disabled parking with easy access to your main building. And, you have to ensure that no one uses this, other than those with disabled badges. Failure to do this could land you in a whole world of trouble. It could also cause real issues for colleagues with disabilities. Bear in mind, though, that the spaces you need depend a lot on the size of your building, and the amount of car parking spaces. Do your research to find out precisely what regulations you need to adhere to. Whatever you do, don’t cut corners. Even if you don’t currently have any disabled colleagues, you need to provide these benefits.
A little something extra
So, that’s most of the technicalities taken care of. But, your work doesn’t stop there. You also need to consider how to make the car park look good. Admittedly, this isn’t always easy. There’s only so much you can do with a patch of concrete, after all. But, with a little effort, you can add small additions which make all the difference. One thing which will help is the incorporation of a bit of greenery around the place. The good news is, there are a few different ways to make this happen. You could keep it simple, and opt for grass islands to break up the monotony a little. Or, you may want to go all out, with set areas designated for flower beds. This gives you a chance to have fun with colour. That could make a massive difference to how your colleagues feel when they arrive. Nobody can resist the sight of some stunning flowers. If you don’t think you have space for this down on the ground, why not make use of those light poles by investing in hanging baskets? These also have the benefit of looking beautiful for anyone who drives past. That’s sure to do your reputation some good, too. This is, in fact, the ideal option for someone who’s working with a small car park. It saves you having to take up crucial parking spaces for the cause.
If you have the space to play with, you could even go all out with a paved walkway, lined with flower beds and benches. It may seem a bit much for a car park, but this is a fantastic way to greet your team each morning. On top of which, it’ll provide a lunch area with a bit more variety than your staff room. The chance to sit outside and eat on sunny days will make a huge difference to employee happiness.
Bear in mind that these options only work if you’re willing to maintain them. Outgrown grass or dying flowers will have the opposite effect from what you were hoping. Of course, you likely already have enough on your plate. So, it may be worth looking into a gardener who can come in for a few hours a week and keep on top of this.
A little bit of fun
You may also want to have some fun in your car park. Though it won’t pay to designate all spaces, it may be fun to pick off a few of the best ones. You could then place signs next to these. Award the privilege to a different colleague each week, or month. Something like ‘simply the best employee’, or ‘I wasn’t late once this week,’ awards could work well. Hand them out in an award ceremony, and keep things light-hearted. Incentives are always important in the workplace, but they’re usually pretty high-pressure. This is a fun little incentive which could keep everyone working harder.
A final word
As you can see, there’s much more to a business car park than you may once have thought. If your current parking arrangements are far from the suggestions above, it’s past time you turned your attention to this issue. From the moment you make improvements, you’ll notice a massive change in the attitude of your employees. It just goes to show that every aspect of business plays a part in how productive a team can be. Is there anything else you never thought to pay attention to?