The Commute - By Bridgette Johstone

Bridgette Johnstone Talks about The Commute

Commuting – how far is too far?

One of the key factors most candidates look into when considering a job offer is the workplace location, i.e. the commute time. Sometimes, the dream job may be located in another part of the city, which means lengthy commute on weekdays. This may become a deal-breaker for some who prefer to travel shorter distances. Others might be more willing to go the distance (pun intended) for their dream job. So, how far is too far when it comes to commuting?

How many hours of travel are acceptable when considering a job offer? The answer will vary. For people living away from the cities, this will not be a simple choice. In fact, if the job market is suffering or certain jobs are not easily available, then the person will be forced to accept the job regardless of the distance.

Many people refuse to move closer to their workplace because they enjoy a better quality of life in their present location. Some are discouraged by the high rents in the city. Of course, what people tend to overlook is the time they spend traveling to the workplace every day is the time they would have had to themselves after work. Traveling long distance to work also means waking up very early every day and reaching home late. This can adversely affect your social life and personal relationships.

Today, many companies encourage a healthy work-life balance. Some offer their employees flexibility when it comes to office timings. In fact, the work-from-home trend is becoming very popular. If the workplace is very far, but employees can opt to work from home for a few days in a month, then traveling to work the rest of the days will not seem as much of a chore.

Another reason prospective employees find long drives to work unappealing is the cost involved in traveling. Public transport is an option, but it is an expensive choice. With a rise in fuel prices, driving to work will also make a dent in the wallet. Of course, driving to work also means tackling crazy rush-hour traffic. Carpooling may offer a prudent and eco-friendly solution. A group of people working in the vicinity of each other can travel to work in a single-car, thus saving money. 

One way workers can make long-distance commute work for them is by using the time spent traveling to do something productive. Many people read on their ride to work or listen to podcasts, while others spend time mentally preparing for the day ahead. This time can also be spent relaxing, enjoying music, getting some work done, etc. If the distance is not too daunting, you can also cycle to work and back. This will help you get some exercise while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.

Some of the drawbacks of lengthy travel times can be mitigated by moving, carpooling, opting for flexible work hours, etc. If, however, the long commute is not your cup of tea, reject the job offer and keep looking for something that is a better fit. Sometimes you simply have to compromise when it comes to your dream job. Whatever the choice, it must contribute to a healthy work-life balance.

Bridgette Johnstone, Commuting to Work