- Half the employees in a new Robert Half survey said their travels to and from work are stressful. Forty-five percent of respondents said their commutes — averaging about 48 minutes — were too long. Nearly a fifth of respondents said their commutes exceed one hour.
- In other findings, respondents from Miami, San Diego and Austin, Texas, reported being the most stressed out over their commutes in the 28 cities covered by the survey. Men and workers under 40 reported having the highest stress levels over their travels to and from work. Employees in Washington, D.C., New York and Houston reported having the longest commute.
- "When workers have difficult commutes into the office, their engagement and productivity can suffer the rest of the day. This may affect staff satisfaction and retention in the long run," Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald said in a media release. "With the current employment environment favoring job seekers, organizations can't afford to ignore the issue and lose their best team members to other opportunities."
As much of a motivator money is for most job seekers, hourly workers are known to pass on higher pay if it comes with a long commute, according to data from BlueCrew. The data showed that workers rejected 38% of hourly jobs offers because of employers' locations, compared to 10% of job offers turned down due to money. Company location and pay were first and fourth, respectively, among the top five reasons job offers are rejected.
Considering the tight talent market, employers may want to offer flexible work benefits, which may allow workers to skip the commute altogether, commute during low-traffic times or commute fewer days a week. In fact, flexible work options may no longer be a nice-to-have benefit. In an IWG survey released in April, 74% of the employees polled see flexible work offerings as the norm, and an even greater number (80%) said they would choose a job that offers flexibility over one that doesn't. The survey also showed that employers are trying to keep up with workers' demands for flexible work options, with 83% of companies surveyed having adopted flexible work policies.
Other studies found that flexible work options offer workers more than work-life stability. For instance, a study from the University of Michigan and California State University Channel Islands found that without flexibility, workers are not as happy on the job and more likely to quit. And most workers (65%) in a 2018 FlexJobs study said their productivity would be higher working from home where they would be less distracted, have fewer interruptions by coworkers, and experience less stress from office politics and commuting to and from work.