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Long commutes stressing out U.S. workers, survey shows

Photo: peeterv/iStockphoto

Menlo Park, CA — Half of respondents to a recent survey say their commute to and from the office stresses them out, and 45% think their trip is too long – up from 30% in 2017.

Researchers, on behalf of staffing firm Robert Half, surveyed 2,800 adult office workers in 28 major U.S. cities. The respondents’ average commute time was around 48.4 minutes, and nearly 20% said they spend at least an hour traveling to work.

Respondents in the nation’s capital reported the longest average commute (65.8 minutes), followed by workers in New York (60.8) and Houston (59.2). Workers in Los Angeles reported most often that their commute was too long (65%), followed by employees in Austin, TX, and Miami (62% apiece).

Miami had the most respondents reporting stressful commutes, with San Diego, Austin, Los Angeles and Phoenix rounding out the top five, respectively.


Results of another Robert Half survey that sampled more than 2,800 senior managers at organizations with at least 20 employees show that about 43% of the respondents said their company offers flexible scheduling to help workers avoid peak traffic times, and another 40% said their organization offers telecommuting.

“When workers have difficult commutes into the office, their engagement and productivity can suffer the rest of the day,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said in a Nov. 5 press release. “This may affect staff satisfaction and retention in the long run. With the current employment environment favoring job seekers, organizations can’t afford to ignore the issue and lose their best team members to other opportunities.”

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