How long is your daily commute to work? 30 min? One hour? Three hours? Would it surprise you that the average daily commute in the Bay Area is over three hours? That equates to 15 hours a week, which is nearly two, eight-hour days, on top of a normal 40+ hour work week. If this seems like a lot of wasted time in the car or on the bus or train, you may be among the 23% of workers that have quit a job over their commute to work. This number is expected to rise as remote working increases and average commute times continue to grow longer. Even though the Bay Area leads the U.S. in commute times, this is not just a San Francisco-based problem. Workers want a work-life balance and when they are spending upwards of 55 hours a week outside of their home for work (and get to work), they may try finding employment closer to their home.
According to a Robert Half survey, 60% of respondents felt that their company had not taken steps to reduce the burden on employees. A LinkedIn report noted that 85% of U.S. professionals would take a pay cut for a shorter commute time. These statistics are staggering and given the current job market, companies should take commute time into consideration when thinking about their talent acquisition and retention strategies, along with overall employee wellbeing.
There are actions that your company can take to catapult you ahead of your competition. Here are the steps that the article suggests:
- Add questions on commute length, mode, satisfaction and parking to employee surveys to understand the specific commuting pain points.
- Frame a specific commute-related business case based on the survey responses for the organization based on real estate, people, or sustainability pain points or priorities.
- Evaluate different commute options and develop an investment roadmap to address critical areas of the solution to address the commute.
- Educate employees on their commute options and train managers to identify employees that may be struggling with a challenging commute.
- Work with local governments and transportation demand management organizations to examine how companies that provide enterprise commuting options can collaborate with public organizations to collectively address commute-related pain points.
These steps are particularly critical when dealing with relocating employees moving to nearly any city, not only in the U.S. but anywhere in the world. People don’t know what they don’t know, so the more expectation setting that your recruiters, hiring managers, relocation management company’s relocation counselors, etc. can do, the better prepared employees will be once they start working.
Furthermore, researchers from the University of West England found that “an additional 20 minutes of commuting each working day is equivalent to a 19% annual pay cut when it comes to measuring how satisfied people say they are with their jobs.” Commutes are only lengthening, which suggests the actual cost, in dollars and well-being, will only continue to increase.