#Commuter Lifestyle | HR Trends and Insights

How Long Commutes Hurt Employees

August 08, 2019

Heavy commuting can lead to more social isolation, less exercise and unhealthy eating habits. It’s a lifestyle that can have a severe impact on a commuter, and therefore, less productivity at work.
If your employees have long commutes, there’s a good chance some of them will quit. No one likes commuting, and as much as people like work, it’s becoming a significant problem in this country for people to get there without stress.
LinkedIn reports that 85 percent of people would take a pay cut to shorten their commutes.
Staffing firm Robert Half found almost 25 percent of workers quit a job because they don’t like the commute. The rates were highest in New York City, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, all cities with some of the highest commuting time in the country. The survey also found that 60 percent don’t feel their employers are doing something to help them with commutes.
Those feelings also create a divide between having happy and productive employees and those who are just miserable about how long it takes them to get to work every day.
>> Is Commuting the Next Health Care? Read more <<
For example, a Harvard social scientist found that for every 10 minutes someone commutes, it leads to 10 percent less social interactions during the day. That type of commuter will realistically be less likely to be an engaged employee in your workplace.
So what can your company do to help your workers bad commute? Here are 3 ideas on what some companies are doing to improve the commute for their employees.

Offer commuter benefits

Commuter benefits save your employees up to 40 percent in commuting costs. While money isn’t everything, it does help when you can save up to $265 per month to get to work.
Commuter benefits can be used for public transportation, rideshares and qualified parking. Your business can save $41 per person per month in payroll tax. If you have 50 employees participate for one year, the savings can top $24,000 annually.

Promote rideshares

Rideshares like UberPOOL and Lyft Shared are eligible for your commuter benefits program. Rideshares may be a good alternative for people who are driving alone or looking to try something different than riding public transportation.

Offer a bike subsidy

Unfortunately, bike subsidies are not eligible for commuter benefits at this time. However, biking is often the cheapest (and healthiest) way to commute along with walking.
You could offer your employees a small subsidy, like $25 per month, to encourage them to have a healthy and fun way to commute each morning.
Employers should be concerned about how long your employees’ commutes. If you haven’t spoken about it with them lately, now is as good a time as ever.
Whant to learn more about commuter benefits? Download the 101 guide below:

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