#HR Trends and Insights

How Commuting is Impacting Generation Z Workers

September 25, 2019

Rising living expenses have priced workers out of living near where they work in many parts of the United States.
Generation Z workers, those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, are one of the most age groups most affected by this trend. More than 40 percent of all Generation Z workers cannot afford to live near their jobs, according to Randstad US and Apartment Guide survey.
The survey explored how rising living expenses influence where and how people live and work in the US. And the survey looked at the impact those trends are having on their quality of life. Younger workers were most impacted.
About 50 percent of Gen Z employees say they have more than one job to supplement their salary, compared to just 28 percent of workers of all ages.
Here are some other interesting findings from the survey, which polled 1,211 employed people aged 18 to about 45 years old.

Long commutes are impacting physical and mental health

Generation Z workers are not the only people who live far from their jobs. However, there is evidence that the impacts are greater. About 24 percent of all workers who were surveyed said they couldn’t afford to live close to their jobs, but for Generation Z that number spikes to 43 percent.
Sadly, 33 percent of Generation Z workers said they were involved in a traffic accident because they were checking work emails while driving. About 32 percent of all workers said they checked work emails while on the road.
Know people who are in a bad mood a lot? It could be their commute. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said their commute has a negative impact on their mood. For Generation Z, that number climbs to 42 percent.
Those long commutes are cutting into their health and leisure time, with 37 percent of the people saying commuting is limiting trips to the gym, hobbies, and time with family and friends.
Read more: Long Distance Separate Jobs and Seekers

How businesses can make the commute better for employees

Long commutes are a significant problem. One way businesses can make it better for commuters is to offer commuter benefits. With commuter benefits, commuters can save up to $265 tax-free in their paychecks each month for trips on public transit, rideshares and qualified parking.
Businesses can also save because pay taxes decrease as more people sign up for commuter benefits.
If you are interested, download the 101 Guide to learn more about commuter benefits.

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