Your parking lot deserves as much attention as any other part of your office building. More than 100 million American workers take a car to work, and all these vehicles need a place to park. If most of your employees are using your lot five times a week, it should meet their needs.
Apart from providing adequate space, parking lots should be safe, efficient, and clean. They serve several purposes, so designing them can be a complicated undertaking. Here’s how you can improve your office parking to meet all these requirements.
Costs of Poor Parking
Poorly designed and managed parking lots can be detrimental to your business. If getting in and out of them is frustrating, then your employees’ morale could drop before they even walk into the building. Visitors may form an undesirable opinion about your business if your lot is an inconvenience.
Your parking lot is sometimes people’s first impression of your office. If it’s frustrating, unsafe or disorganized, potential clients may think the same thing about your company. On the flip side, an excellent parking lot can improve morale, decrease security risks and impress clients.
Managing Parking Spots
The most obvious area to address is how your parking spots are arranged and designated. You have to consider a few different things when managing spaces. Providing enough room is one thing, but you also need to think about where different people park.
1. Assign Employee Spaces
The most straightforward way to avoid parking disputes is to assign everyone a specific spot. In doing this, though, you should be careful not to create further conflict. If you randomly hand out spaces, you’ll end up giving preferable ones to some employees, which can look like favoritism.
Assign spaces according to need, like giving older workers spots closer to the entrance. You can also consider saving the most desirable ones for top-performing employees each month. Occasionally rotating these assignments may also be beneficial, as long as it’s not so frequent that is causes confusion.
2. Designate Customer or Visitor Spots
You also need to reserve some spots for visitors or customers. If you’re the kind of business that relies on in-store clients, save the spaces closest to the door for them. You may even consider using different parking orientations for customers and employees.
You may want to save angled spaces for customers since they’re easier to get in and out of. Ninety-degree parking spots are better for employees who will be there for longer stretches.
3. Parking Management Software
If you’re having trouble balancing all these considerations, parking management software may be right for you. With modern technology, you can automate many administrative tasks, including parking lot management. These systems can calculate employee data to assign spots based on a variety of criteria.
Using parking management software ensures you remain neutral in assigning spaces. Some programs even come with companion apps to direct drivers to the appropriate spot. Automating this process also helps if you ever need to rearrange your parking lot setup.
Convenience and efficiency aren’t the only things you should consider in managing your parking lot. You also need to ensure that it’s safe. That includes preventing crime like theft and avoiding any accidents.
1. Install Security Cameras
In 2018, more than 28,000 violent crimes occurred in parking lots, making them the third-most-common crime location. To help prevent this, you should install security cameras around the lot. Make sure there are no blind spots between the cameras to ensure maximum safety.
Security cameras can also be useful in the event of an accident. If someone crashes into another car, the footage can help police reports and insurance claims. People are also likely to drive with caution if they know security cameras are present.
2. Provide Waiting Areas
Sometimes employees or visitors will have to wait around before they can leave. They might lock their keys in their car or need a ride to pick them up. You should be sure to provide safe areas for these people to wait so they’re not at any risk.
The easiest solution to this is to allow people to wait in your office lobby. If that’s not an option, you can designate another area, but make sure it’s indoors and secure. Keep it well-lit, and consider installing another camera to protect people as they wait.
3. Increase Visibility
Visibility is essential to parking lot safety. Bright lights dissuade criminals as well as make it easier for drivers to see at night. Make sure you always change or repair lights as soon as you need to, and install more if you don’t have enough.
You should be careful that in installing lights, you don’t make them too bright. Harsh lighting can make it difficult to see and will create deep shadows. Opt for soft but full, light, so you make everything visible but easy on the eyes.
Parking Lot Maintenance
Maintaining the cleanliness and quality of your parking lot improves safety and your business’s image. Provide plenty of easily-accessible trashcans to prevent litter from accumulating. Make sure you tend to the pavement frequently to keep it smooth, which helps both aesthetics and vehicle safety.
When you notice paint starting to fade, schedule a time to refresh lines. If you live in an area prone to snow or freezing, make sure you prevent buildup in the parking lot. Keep things like shovels and road salt handy, so you can address these concerns as early as possible.
Your Parking Lot Reflects Your Business
Remember that your parking lot reflects your business. Show you care about all your employees’ needs by giving them a safer, more efficient parking space. Both employees and visitors will benefit from an improved parking lot, which means you will, too.