Presented by Millennium Garages

After two years of confusion and uncertainty following COVID shutdowns, downtown business districts are springing back to life.

In Chicago and other commercial hubs, back-to-office discussions have shifted from ‘if’ and ‘when?’ to ‘HOW?’ and ‘NOW!’.

The steps employers take today to soothe returning workers’ commuting anxiety will help determine the winners and losers of the Great Office Comeback.

Chicagoland Chamber member Millennium Garages is the largest underground parking complex in the US. With four facilities beneath Millennium, Maggie Daley, and Grant Parks, the garages offer a gateway to downtown Chicago for commuters, residents, and visitors. 
(Source: Millennium Garages)

The End of the ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Daily Commute

COVID drove far-reaching changes to workers’ hours, living arrangements, and professional perspectives. Electric vehicle ownership boomed during the pandemic, creating new fueling needs for EV drivers. Familiar pre-COVID commuting patterns might not fit with post-COVID realities.

Kastle’s Back-to-Work Barometer shows a rising tide of office returns. According to Kastle Access Control System data, Chicago’s weekly office occupancy has been rising steadily since early January. 
(Source: Kastle – link)

Across industries and sectors, employees will have to adjust (yet again) to circumstances beyond their control. For reasons of health, safety, and convenience, commuting anxiety is real. Whether they walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, or drive their own vehicles, returning workers will experiment with commuting frequency, timing, and modes of transportation.

“According to a LinkedIn survey of nearly 3,000 full-time workers in the U.S., about one quarter of employees have safety concerns about their commute, with an equal number saying they are much less willing to commute than they were before the coronavirus crisis.”
Why Fear and Dread Around Commuting are Driving The Reality of the New Workplace, Digiday

As any water cooler conversation will prove, commuting is deeply personal and evokes strong emotions. In the wake of COVID-19, one-size-fits-all commuting solutions won’t make workers (or their employers) happy.

Flexible Schedules Demand Flexible Options

Though commuting may cast a cloud over some workers’ return to the office, it also offers bright silver linings.

Longer commutes become less of a burden when they’re less frequent, staggered schedules can ease congestion, and relaxing rigid commuting constraints could open new opportunities. Workplaces that paused pre-tax commuter benefit programs will bring them back for convenience and employee cost savings. Savvy employers are helping their employees discover new commuting options to meet evolving needs. By offering a range of commuting solutions – while creating flexibility for workers to try multiple transportation modes – employers can smooth the back-to-office transition. Self-service commuter programs reduce the burden on HR teams while putting workers in the driver’s seat.

Millennium Garages: Win-Win Solutions for Employers and Workers

With four downtown parking locations, direct access to the Chicago Pedway, and more than fifty level-2 EV charging stations, Millennium Garages can help your company navigate the back-to-office commute.

As the largest parking facility in downtown Chicago and the largest EV charging hub in our region, Millennium Garages’ scale offers competitive pricing and tailored employee parking programs to meet specific business needs.

Exclusive offers for Chicagoland Chamber Members and their employees:

  • NEW! Flex Commuter Hybrid Monthly Parking: Park any twelve days for $149 per month, plus $12.95 for any added days.
  • Unlimited Monthly Parking: Unlimited monthly parking from $200 per month.
  • All-Access Daily Use Card: Pay-as-you-go 12-hour parking at preferred rates with no minimums.

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