Commuting to work is part of any city worker’s daily schedule. In big cities an hour is the minimum time spent on the road. Of course, adding the hour on the way back would make two hours daily, ten hours weekly and about five hundred the total hours spent in a year.
The queues entering major capital cities at pick hours are monumental. We all remember the opening scene of Falling Down, when William Foster (Michael Douglas) is stuck in traffic in Los Angeles’s motorway on a hot-sunny day.
Commuting is one of those things we can’t avoid, at some point of our lives we have to do it. Yet, the hours spent in the public transport, if not used properly are gone forever. And worst of all it’ll make us incredibly unhappy.
How these long hours in limbo affect the average worker? Tiredness, lack of focus and general apathy are some of the side effects. Commuting is probably the most well known activity that not many people talk about, yet is an essential part of our lives. The working day doesn’t start the moment we put a foot on the office door the journey starts few hours earlier and ends few hours later.
Sadly, many companies still stick to the nine to five routine. But there are many others that have adapted to the times offering workers flexible working hours. As more companies are realizing that the well-being of their employees affect the productivity and overall performance of the business. Every CEO’s wants happy workers; a healthy work/life balance is pivotal for a successful company.
Workers need down time to recover from long working hours. Being constantly on the go can cause numerous side effects. And it’s being reported that workers in major cities experience high levels of stress, due to long hours of hideous commute.
A study from the University of Montreal’s School of Industrial Relations, suggests that the threat of burnout increases when the commute to work last more than twenty minutes.
What’s more, as more people live in the cities, the risk of mental health issues in urban centers are greater. The problem big businesses face right now is how to retain people, since there are more opportunities now for skilled workers. Those workers are more likely to find a job that adjusts to their living standards. With the rise of remote working and flexible working hours, commuting to work is not an option for those employees who value their time.
Luckily, these days there are more options when it comes to find work. People think twice before choosing a work that is far away from their homes. Yet, the option of relocate; and even integrating home working hours may become more widely accepted.
Nevertheless, the pick time was named like this for a reason, the nine to five busy hours are still a reality for a many of us.
Resource: You’re driving yourself to burnout, literally by Annie Barreck University of Montreal.
For more interesting reading on flexible working see: