Commuting to and from work each day can compromise employee health, happiness, and attitude in the workplace. Creative alternatives to daily travel can turn a daily commute into a productive investment of time.
Use this information to discover how to improve your employee’s quality of life by managing their daily commutes.
Consider offering creative alternatives to commuting
Offering alternative commuting options such as remote work can provide flexibility for employees with long commutes. According to research from Clutch, about two-thirds of employees (63%) can get to work in less than 30 minutes. The remaining 37% of workers face a longer commute time. Sometimes, employees understand the travel required before accepting a job. What’s more of an issue is when companies relocate and leave employees no choice but to commute.
For these employees, a company’s decision to relocate can impact their quality of life. Fortunately, the way people work has changed significantly over the past five years. According to a 2019 survey by the International Workplace Group, most businesses (62%) now have flexible work policies in place. In addition, half of workers say they work remotely at least 2.5 days a week while three-quarters of workers consider flexible working the new normal.
To avoid commuter burnout, consider offering one of the following commuting solutions for your employees:
- Working from home a few days a week
- Working longer hours four days a week instead of a traditional 5 day work week
- Working alternate hours that allow you to commute during non-peak travel times
Creative options such as remote work and alternative hours alleviate stress for workers with long commutes.
Research which commuter benefits make the most sense for your company
Many employers provide deductible-type accounts that allow employees to withdraw tax-free reimbursements for travel expenses. With these programs, employees have the freedom to weigh their options for getting to work.
Commuter benefits that your company can offer reimbursement or full coverage for include:
- Public transportation reimbursement
- Lyft Line and Uber Pool
Depending on your location and employee base, think about which opportunities make the most sense for your company. Giving your employees the option to choose allows them autonomy over how they structure their commuting schedules.
Creative benefits for employees with long commutes
Ultimately, commuter benefits don’t make commutes shorter. To go a step above for your employees, you can offer resources that can make their commutes more enjoyable.
For example, your business can structure:
- Book clubs
- Online hobby course such as Masterclass
- Online learning courses
Masterclass, for example, allows your employees to learn about a variety of fun topics such as cooking, acting, fiction writing, poker playing, and more.
Business courses, such as leadership, journalism, politics, and economics are also available on the MasterClass website. University courses are another form of online learning. Auditing or taking for-credit classes during your travel hours can turn your commute into a productive time investment.
By offering your employees these benefits, they can come to work happier (it also may improve culture!).
Consider relocating offices to be closer to your employees
Moving or relocating offices to be closer to employees improves commute times. It also can provide health benefits for your employees.
A report by Time Magazine claims that commuting more than 10 miles each way, daily, is bad for your health and can cause:
- High blood sugar
- High cholesterol
- A greater tendency toward depression
- Higher levels of stress and anxiety
A report by TheJobNetwork also found that long commutes take a toll on people’s disposition, often causing burnout and cynicism. Of course, moving offices is a huge decision to make, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Still, consider it as an option if you are experiencing widespread dissatisfaction with employee commutes.
Employers have the ability to reduce commuting stress for employees
Commuting is a huge part of employee satisfaction: The closer they are to home, the happier they are. As a company, you need to consider how your office location impacts commuting time for your employees. Research and review commuter benefits you can offer and even consider moving offices if you feel that adjustment will bring significant benefits to your employee morale.
About the Author:
Kristen Herhold is a Senior Content Developer for Clutch, the leading resource for B2B research, ratings, and reviews. She leads the company’s real estate research.
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