I walk around downtown Nashville pretty regularly…and I walk past a lot of reserved executive parking spaces. These executive parking spaces, of course, never fail to make me think of Bill Lumbergh’s ridiculous Porsche in “Office Space.” And Bill Lumbergh’s ridiculous Porsche makes me wonder how executive parking spaces still exist, given the negative impact they can have on employee morale.
Full disclosure: I’ve never had an executive parking space. So…it’s possible that this is all sour grapes. You can decide that for yourself, I guess.
I’m not bothered by the people who have these executive parking spaces. And I don’t expect them all to forgo their reserved spots and park in the territory of the common folk. But I’m not sure that these parking spaces are good for employee morale. Here’s why:
- They create an obvious separation between leadership (“Park here!”) and everyone else (“Park over there!”). Is that good for employee morale? I doubt it.
- They draw attention to the personal vehicles of executives. Those vehicles are sometimes different from those driven by entry-level employees. Is it okay for an executive to drive a luxury vehicle? Absolutely. Do people notice? Yep.
- People pay attention to empty parking spaces. If an executive space is consistently empty—even if it’s for a perfectly legitimate reason—folks may start thinking, “Huh. Mr. Lumbergh’s out again.”
- Reserved executive spaces are usually closer to the office’s entrance, and they’re often covered. This really gets awkward during freak blizzards and severe thunderstorms. Executives’ vehicles? Safe from the elements! Average Joe’s car? It’s 100 yards away, and it’s being furiously pelted by baseball-sized hailstones.
What do you think about executive parking spaces? What other long-standing traditions within your company might be impacting employee morale?