49% of people say the commute is impacting their decision to return to work (JLL, 2020), which will likely worsen our car parking and congestion woes as people avoid public transit. Worse still, a survey of our customers in industrial locations revealed that 30% of job applicants didn’t turn up to the job interview in the first place because they couldn't get there - with no viable public transit option and no access to a car. With public transit systems facing a financial, confidence, and capacity crisis, the gaps in the network are only going to grow. Increasingly, employers are needing to take responsibility for the commute themselves - those that do will benefit in ways they never considered before.
Covid-19 has accelerated e-commerce growth and forced a large-scale displacement in the labor force. Layoffs in sectors like hospitality and aviation present an opportunity for employers in an otherwise competitive labor market in warehousing, logistics, and manufacturing. As e-commerce and logistics locations scale up, many of them have invested in commuting initiatives to act as the bridge to access this talent.
Zeelo has been supporting employers such as Ocado, Amazon, and Henkel across 4 countries to provide dedicated smart bus services that are designed to meet shift patterns and act as a safe ‘bubble’ to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. Zeelo uses data to design routes around current employees or potential recruitment zones, mobile apps for riders to manage subscriptions and track their vehicle, and a 24/7 support team to make sure everything runs smoothly. All services are equipped with technology and processes for distancing, contact tracing, and antiviral sanitization.
Employers are experiencing benefits beyond reducing infection risk and accessing talent - many are reporting emptier car parks, on time, and less fatigued staff and will be able to report a lower carbon impact this year. These benefits can multiply when complemented by other options like safe carpooling and incentive and tax programs.
As employers continue to operate, recruit more staff and others welcome back those working from home, the commute will present a significant hurdle. Employers who choose to invest now will reap benefits well beyond their immediate needs, maintaining the commute as a C-suite conversation for many years to come.
Technology & Innovation