How Long of a Commute Is Too Long? Impacts on Well-Being

Wondering how long of a commute is too long? This article delves into the negative effects of commuting and possible employee and employer solutions.
how long of a commute is too long

Companies across the nation are bustling with activity now that in-person business is returning. As things slowly begin returning to normal, millions of professionals who have been working from home will start commuting to work for the first time in many months. Some younger workers may soon find themselves commuting to the office for the first time. As these professionals get in the car each morning, they’ll ask one question: how long of a commute is too long?

Spending too much time in traffic can be a drain on your physical and mental well-being. Here’s how to calculate whether a daily commute is worth your time.

The Impact of Long Commutes on Well-being

Is an hour commute too long? There’s no denying that long commutes can harm your overall health. Spending long periods of time sitting behind the wheel of a car can impact your posture, mental health, and overall readiness for work. According to Scientific American’s exploration of the subject, every additional minute you spend commuting leads to a greater chance of suffering from health problems.

One study even found that commuting can be linked to higher rates of obesity. High blood pressure, physical pains, and sore joints can all be consequences of too much time spent in a cramped motor vehicle.

Headaches, concentration troubles, and road-rage-induced anger can jeopardize your health. The longer and more frequent the journey, the worse these conditions could be. These issues can become too hard to bear for so-called extreme commuters or those who spend multiple hours of each day traveling to and from work.

Finally, commuting can impact the personal relationships with family members and friends that are essential to your mental health. Is 45 minutes a long commute? It might be. Spending countless hours of your life on the road deprives you of much-needed social time with the people closest to you in life.

The Added Expense of Long Commutes

Unfortunately, modern commuting doesn’t only affect your mental and physical health — it also impacts your wallet. U.S. inflation is the highest it’s been since 1981, and it’s continuing to rise. In addition, surging gas prices put many Americans in a tough financial position.

Commuting to work is now a serious expense that needs to be accounted for in an employee’s budget. When asking, “how long of a commute is too long?” consider what sacrifices commuters must make to afford the drive to work each morning. They may need to take a second job, cut back on outings, or pull their children from activities. All of these cost-saving measures have a negative effect on the well-being of commuters.

Advantages of Commuting

There are pros and cons of commuting to work, and not all commutes are alike. Scenery, the method of transportation, and the rigidity of your schedule can all impact whether your commute is worth taking every day.

While some people drive to work and face nothing but bumper-to-bumper traffic, others may take public transportation. Public commutes where you’re not required to steer a vehicle can afford you time to relax and think on your way to and from the office.

Those who walk or bike to work may find that commuting is a great way to stay healthy. Cycling leads to a longer and healthier life, so it’s important to remember that commuting is an opportunity to physically improve yourself. Walking to and from work is also a great way to familiarize yourself with a new neighborhood if you’ve recently moved to take on a new job.

Walking or cycling to work will also save commuters the money they would otherwise spend on gas and vehicle maintenance.

How Employers Can Help

Is an hour commute too long? It is. However, employers can help workers avoid the dangers of commuting by providing a hybrid model of employment. Rather than spending all of your time in the office or working from home, hybrid office setups allow employees to divide their time between their homes and their official workspaces. Working through a hybrid model, an employee may only physically commute to the office two or three times a week, spending the remainder of their time working from home.

The hybrid model is ideal for modern companies that want to maintain a brick-and-mortar presence but recognize the advantages of working from home. It also allows for a more affordable commute schedule for employees. Another alternative is flexible office hours, which refers to a work schedule that’s different from the traditional 9 to 5 schedule.

Flexible hours may allow workers to choose the ideal time to come to work, making commuting easier. Flexible schedules can enhance the comfort of workers by allowing them to travel whenever traffic is mild, and their self-care needs have been taken care of.

These options can help lower the cost of commuting back to the pre-inflation, pre-gas surge days. This allows commuters to save money and focus on their work and mental health. Two fantastic companies that offer hybrid roles in Arizona are Freedom Financial Network and GoDaddy. These companies understand that commuting to work everyday is not always healthy and prioritize the well-being of employees.

Make Commuting Stress-Free With BestCompaniesAZ

BestCompaniesAZ helps job seekers match the right position with a perfect commute. Workers who rely on BestCompaniesAZ will be exposed to the best companies in the state that offer competitive wages and attractive commute times. No longer will you have to worry about long commutes. With BestCompaniesAZ’s help, you’ll identify a nearby business with a flexible employment model perfect for your situation. Contact us today

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