Improve Organizational Resilience with Smarter Commuting

What is organizational resilience?

Organizational resilience is a critical concept for businesses, especially mid-size to large companies with sizable workforces. It is defined as an organization’s ability to continue functioning at a high level in the face of sudden, unexpected disruptions and gradual changes. Strategic planning experts emphasize the importance of organizational resilience as a critical component of a sound business continuity plan.

While organizational resilience planning can cover dramatic, high-profile disruptive events like natural disasters, extreme weather, terrorist attacks, and military assaults, its everyday applications are far more mundane. Businesses seek to address common problems like severe traffic congestion, unexpected interruptions to public transit service, accidents, and road closures.

Such occurrences tend to have a shorter-term but still financially significant impact on a company’s operations. As such, businesses seek to improve their resilience to insulate themselves from the financial losses caused by disruptions. Sound organizational resilience plans feature four central components:

  • Anticipation. Strategic planners assess the various short-term, medium-term, and long-term possibilities when considering the different scenarios that could cause enough disruption to negatively impact business activities.
  • Preparation. Companies form and implement contingency plans that address each of the major potential problems identified in the previous step. They also make sure that all management-level staff knows about these contingency plans and can access them on short notice.
  • Response. This aspect of the strategy defines the decisive action the company takes to execute its contingency plans. Response elements focus on restoring the organization to acceptable levels of output and productivity as quickly as possible.
  • Adaptation. If the disruptive event forces sustained or permanent changes to organizational operation, adaptation plans anticipate the new future landscape while addressing shortcomings with the added benefits of experience and hindsight.

Smart commuting tools improve organizational resilience by preparing you for the unexpected.

One important way to improve organizational resilience is to arm commuters with tools that help them overcome disruptions like inclement weather, transit strikes and service interruptions, construction, and temporary road closures. Common scenarios include things like:

  • Problems with train tracks, signals, or other infrastructure that temporarily slows or disables light rail trains, subways, or buses
  • Heavy rain or snowfall that causes treacherous driving conditions
  • Lane or road closures on major thoroughfares during construction season

Here’s a look at a few specific commuter management strategies that support higher levels of organizational resilience:

  • Telecommuting. One of the best ways to overcome disruptions that prevent people from getting to work is to have them work from home instead! Telework commuter services keep employees productive no matter what the weather or local traffic conditions, all while delivering a more beneficial work-life balance that increases job satisfaction.
  • Encouraging carpooling. Creating a ridesharing culture in your company encourages people to be less dependent on solo driving. Companies with a high percentage of solo-drive commuters are more susceptible to the problems caused by sudden disruptions. Corporate carpool programs can help: they get people traveling in groups, helping them reach the work site in larger numbers during periods of disruption.
  • Vanpools. This effective solution is an excellent workaround for the so-called “last mile” dilemma. Operating a vanpool shuttle between your work site and a major local transit hub allows people to easily use public transportation as an alternative to driving. This can neutralize problems like road closures and severe congestion, giving commuters a point-to-point option that allows them to bypass road problems using subways or overground rail transit.

Giving commuters the ability to take such interruptions in stride and source alternative modes of transportation without missing a beat is critical, and it’s one of the key value propositions offered by the RideAmigos commuter management hub.

The RideAmigos platform has been adopted by numerous businesses and agencies around the world to help improve organizational resilience while reducing their carbon footprints. Get started today and empower your employees to respond to challenges with agility and efficiency.


What is Transportation Resilience?

Defining and understanding transportation resilience

In the context of risk management, “resilience” is defined as a system’s ability to continue to function at an acceptable level of efficiency in the face of disruptive or unexpected conditions. This concept has been imported into the world of transportation demand management, giving rise to the idea of “transportation resilience.”

Transportation resilience is defined as the ability of a transportation system to move people around in the face of one or more major obstacles to normal function. These obstacles can include extreme weather events, major accidents, and equipment or infrastructure failures. More specifically, the concept of transportation resilience has even more precise implications, depending on how the term is applied:

  • For individuals, transportation resilience means being able to get around if the person’s vehicle breaks down, or if the person is injured, becomes disabled, or suffers a loss of income
  • For communities, it means that public transit is accessible, and that traffic can continue to move despite accidents, emergencies, seasonal construction projects, or special events
  • On a design level, it means that transportation systems have specific built-in features to deal with extreme levels of demand and critical, unexpected problems
  • On an economics level, it enables personal transportation to continue functioning even if an important resource, such as oil or gasoline, becomes unavailable or prohibitively expensive
  • On a strategy level, it means a transportation system is created to accommodate future growth and possible changes to future usage or access patterns

At the day-to-day level, transportation resilience is of greatest concern to individuals and communities. It is something businesses and commuters need to think about, since the availability of transportation is critical to the function of both these entities.

What types of organizations have the most pronounced need for resilient transportation strategies?

Transportation resilience is critical to organizations with high concentrations of commuters. The more dependent those commuters are on single-occupancy vehicles, the more important it becomes.

All kinds of unexpected events can disrupt a person’s commute — car trouble, bad weather, traffic congestion, transit outages, accidents. The key to transportation resilience is to offer commuters alternatives that enable them to get around despite these issues.

Proven strategies for improving organizational transportation resilience

Some aspects of transportation resilience are beyond an organization’s control. Extreme weather events, like severe summer storms and blizzards that dump massive amounts of snow, will disrupt even the most carefully planned resilience strategies. Yet, despite this, careful planning and foresight can dramatically boost your organization’s ability to continue functioning at a high level in the face of everyday problems.

Let’s start with an essential “ridesharing for enterprises 101” type of concept: the importance of information. Encourage commuters to get in the habit of checking traffic information before they leave home in the morning. You’d be surprised how many people don’t bother to seek updates on things like road and traffic conditions until they’re already on the move. This can lead to major problems. After all, how likely is it that a commuter is going to turn around, go back home, and seek an alternative mode of transportation after driving into the thick of a traffic jam?

This easy, simple habitual shift helps commuters make smarter choices from the get-go. If traffic congestion is causing major delays along their normal driving route, commuters can simply opt for public transportation or other alternatives that allow them to bypass problem areas, get to work on time, and maintain their normal levels of productivity.

To that end, employers can make this transition even easier by building supports for alternative commuting into their transportation demand management models:

  • Offer free or subsidized monthly transit passes to commuters
  • Install secure bicycle parking along with showers and lockers to make active commuting a viable option
  • Introduce an emergency ride home program to help overcome commuter hesitation

Another excellent way to improve organizational transportation resilience is to offer flexible telework options. After all, the most efficient commute is one that’s never made.

Working from home is a great strategy for maintaining productivity no matter what local weather and traffic conditions may throw at you. Help employees stay productive by offering telework commuter services that help employees new to the world of remote working make key adjustments. Chances are you’ll find teleworking a highly beneficial solution, as it boosts employees’ work-life balance and improves job satisfaction. Ancillary benefits include superior employee retention rates and a happier, more positive workplace culture.

Power your solutions with the RideAmigos smart commuting app

The RideAmigos commuter hub is replete with features that support transportation resilience for commuters and the businesses that employ them. With easy-to-use planning features and connections to a complete range of transportation alternatives, users can take part in rideshare and carpooling programs, make better use of public transit, use carshares, and much more.

Get started with RideAmigos