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Do You Have a Scary Commute?

Commuting to work is almost never fun, but in some places it’s downright spooky. In…

  • November 13, 2017

Commuting to work is almost never fun, but in some places it’s downright spooky. In honor of Halloween, staffing firm Robert Half highlights the cities with the most hair-raising commutes.

The company surveyed workers from 27 major U.S. cities to determine how long they spend commuting to and from the office and which cities have the most stressed-out commuters.

More than 2,700 workers in 27 U.S. markets were surveyed to determine average commute times and the cities with the most stressful commutes. The survey was conducted in September 2017.

U.S. workers spend an average of 49.10 minutes commuting. While a shorter commute is generally preferred it is not always the best bet: Robert Half found that professionals with the longest commutes aren’t necessarily the most anxious.

For instance, while Los Angeles ranked just 13th in terms of average length of commute, it scored a big #1 in terms of stress. (In this case, “winning” in the rankings means losing).

Washington, D.C. was #1 in terms of length, with commuters spending a scary 60.42 minutes on average getting to work. See all the rankings here:

It turns out, commuting time really matters to workers.

Now Hear This, Employers:

Commute times rank as a top concern among employees when considering a job offer, according to feedback gathered from Robert Half’s recruiters.

“Good managers keep a constant gauge on team morale. You should continually talk to employees about their commutes to identify pain points and possible workarounds,” said Josh Howarth, district president for Robert Half. “Every organization is different, and no single magic bullet can solve all commuting problems.”

Howarth recommends having these conversations sooner rather than later: “Winter weather and the end of daylight savings time often result in longer commutes. Get plans in place now to offer flexible options before workers feel the full impact.”

If you’re an employer concerned that a lengthy commute could be hurting retention efforts or scaring away potential candidates, consider the following solutions:

  • Survey your employee base. Talk to your workers individually or conduct surveys to gauge how much their commutes might be impacting their workday. Research surrounding firms and companies in your industry to see how they handle commuting issues.
  • Offer staggered work schedules. Give employees the option to work during hours when the traffic isn’t heavy. Staggered schedules can also provide the benefit of longer coverage.
  • Consider telecommuting options. Many companies allow employees to work remotely on occasion. If workers’ responsibilities allow, consider allowing telecommuting several days a week.
  • Increase commuting benefits. If you are already offering commuting benefits, find out how much they are being used.

Once you know which are being most utilized, you can make educated decisions to enhance or modify them. If you don’t offer these benefits, consider adding some, like subsidized public transportation or company-sponsored carpooling.

That all sounds like sound advice for taking the scare out of commuting.

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