Ridesharing is all the rage these days. And if you've got a bunch of employees all stuck in traffic commuting to work, why not get them all in the same car? Employers are not only recognizing the environmental benefits of carpooling, but the positive effects on office relationships from staff sharing their commute. And technology is making ridesharing that much easier.
But does that mean it's a good idea for your company? And should you be incentivizing employees to carpool?
In most cases, the benefits from an incentivized employee carpooling policy will outweigh the risks. Your employees have more socializing time off the clock (which can always spark some great business ideas) and you'll be reducing the number of vehicles on the road as well as greenhouse gas emissions. You just need to be careful you don't put them on the clock (by requiring anything work-related while going to and from the office) and don't make the carpool mandatory.
Because even silver linings have a touch of grey, there are some legal concerns for employers when it comes to employee carpool programs. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that a company that paid an employee $50.00 per day to drive a crew of three other employees back and forth from work was liable when the driver caused a car accident.
So be careful how you structure your carpool incentives -- a flat rate for driving services could land you in hot water. For help putting together your company carpool program, contact an experienced commercial attorney in your area.