Morning commutes seem to be getting longer, and it’s not just in your head. New research suggests that the average worker travels two hours or more round-trip to and from work each day. Why are the number of commuters and their length of travel continuing to grow?
Over the past decade, people who travel more than two hours to and from work each day has increased 72 percent to more than three million. An hour one-way seems like a long commute, but it is becoming commonplace for people to travel that long just to get to the office.
Why are people traveling so far?
Research suggests people are traveling far because they are not financially able to move close to the office. Buying homes or even renting in the areas closest to centers of work has become extremely expensive. Instead of spending a lot on housing, most workers are opting for the longer commute.
Another contributing factor may be the recession. Because of the 2008 crash, many people are willing to travel greater distances for work because they do not want to lose their jobs. Others may have been impacted by a lack of investment in the roads. With bad roads or clustered roads with poor infrastructure, many people’s commutes take longer.
Women most affected
The most affected group of people, according to this research, is women. A great deal of women are traveling three hours or more to get to work. In the past decade, the number of women traveling long distances to work has increased by 131 percent.
Researchers believe this may be because women have a harder time finding work than men, so they are willing to travel longer distances to maintain a job. This may also be because if their is a man in the family, the family chooses to live closer to his job instead of the woman’s.
How companies are fixing this
Some companies are providing work at home opportunities with a weekly “in office” meeting. Because of technology like Skype, email and other communication apps, working from home is easy. Some companies are also creating “satellite” offices if there are a great number of people who work in a certain area.
How you can help the commuting problem
If you’d like to cut down your personal commuting time, mileage on your car and even the biological imprint your commute will have on the atmosphere, try car-pooling. Chances are, there is someone in your office that lives close to you or on the way to work. If you car pool, or even only drive halfway, you can save money on the commute and frustration being stuck in traffic. Also, having someone in the car will make the commute go by much quicker.
It doesn’t look like the commuting time is going to lower any time soon. With prices in the city, where most businesses are located, continually rising, many people will maintain their homes in the suburbs and continue to commute, even if it means a long one.