We talk a lot about how corporate real estate is becoming, and must become, an integral part of the overall strategy for any successful corporation.

And here we present a vivid example. Microsoft has several extensive programs designed to make commuting to work less of a hassle, and to keep as many cars off the road as possible. The company does this by having a shuttle service and offering incentives for alternate forms of transportation to work. According to a recent posting in NAIOP’s Development magazine, Microsoft offers 198 shuttles and an average seven-minute wait time at all scheduled stops. Far fewer people drive personal cars across campus for meetings; instead, more than 6,000 employees have the option to negotiate the campus daily on shuttles.

And, for employees who drive to campus, Microsoft rewards those who carpool or vanpool with premier parking spots at their buildings. Vanpoolers also receive a $100/month subsidy.

Second, Microsoft has devised ways for employees to conveniently commute without cars, by using regional transit passes that provide unlimited rides on public transportation in the Puget Sound area as well as the company’s fleet of Connector buses.

Those who bike to work enjoy subsidized tune-ups, secure bike cages, showers and towels. An annual Bike to Work Day event inspires more employees to join every year.

And this all managed by Brian Crockford, in Microsoft’s Real Estate and Facilities Group. Brian has been a true innovator in the profession; a longtime member of CoreNet Global, he recently served on the association’s Board of Directors.

This case study is a true example of how corporate real estate is integrated into everyday activities that might not be ordinarily considered part of the CRE universe. Please post in the comments box examples of how your corporation is using the corporate real estate function in unique ways.