In my case, the work commute is a little lengthy, but at least I’m in the car, moving. Other people I know deal with traffic gridlock, which is as frustrating as it can be soul-crushing.
Several others brave the elements with public transportation — transferring across several bus routes in hour-long commutes that could otherwise be completed in one-third the time.
As it turns out, there’s a good deal of restiveness when it comes to work commutes. Employment and staffing firm Robert Half Associates found this out when it surveyed ~2,800 working adults earlier this year across 28 U.S. urban markets.
Robert Half discovered that nearly one in four of the workers surveyed have quit at least one job during the course of their careers because of inordinately long or difficult commuting times. And among the 28 urban markets studied, the highest incidence of changing jobs because of a problem commute were for workers residing in the Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco metro areas.
Interestingly, it’s younger workers (those between the ages of 18 and 35) who are the most likely to have left jobs because of a bad commute. Is it because of raising young families, or simply wanting more unfettered free time?
As for commuting trends in these urban markets, about one in five of the respondents surveyed report that their commute has become worse in the past five years. On the positive side, twice that percentage report that their commute has actually improved, while the balance report little or no change in their commuting conditions.
San Francisco and Austin residents report worsening work commutes, whereas workers in Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Charlotte are most likely to report that their commutes have improved over the past five years.
The Robert Half survey results underscore the view that rough commutes can have a major negative impact on morale – and ultimately, on employees’ decisions to stay with or leave their place of employment.
No wonder a growing number of companies are offering nontraditional employment programs — where showing up at the office daily is no longer the only way to be on the payroll. We’ll probably see more of these arrangements in the years ahead.