New Years Resolution: Reduce Commute Time

resolutions 2017 is finally upon us. Resolutions are made far and wide to get more sleep, exercise, eat healthy — all with the best intentions to be a more rested, fit and better self. What is the biggest hurdle in accomplishing these resolutions? Time! Hectic schedules on a weekly basis never allow for enough time. Time to do things you need either for yourself, your family, your company, your teams. You wake up earlier to go to the gym and exercise before going to work, then stay up later preparing breakfast and lunch for tomorrow to fortify healthy eating habits. By the end of the month you invariably slip back to old habits and soon enough, may find yourself in 2018, starting all over again.

Why should employers help their employees be successful with their resolutions? Because benefits abound. A well-rested, fit and healthy employee is a happy and productive employee. Can employers help their employees be successful with their resolutions? In many ways, yes – and one significant way is to give them back some time.

In September 2016, Boston Magazine noted that Boston had the sixth longest commute in the countrysnow_day clocking in at an average of 31 minutes – one way. Add inclement weather including a few nor’easters across New England in the winter and imagine what people could accomplish in that one hour or often more instead of fighting weather and congestion on 128, 93, the Mass Pike and downtown Boston to get to work. Gridlock is certainly not a problem unique to Boston alone. Commutes have become much worse over the past 5 years in every metropolitan city in the United States causing endless frustration and stress.

University of California has been studying the effects on commuting since the late 70’s reporting that dissatisfaction with commuting is a cost an employee initially absorbs, often with delayed effects on health and well-being. In an article on How Commute Issues Can Dramatically Impact Employee Retention, Dr. John Sullivan highlights several negative impacts to an employer from lengthy commutes including: increased absenteeism, frequent tardiness, reduced employee engagement, decreased productivity and an increased error rate. Significant financial costs to a company result when these issues are not addressed and eliminated: The World Health Organization says U.S. companies lose $300 billion a year because of employee stress. 

Employers give back time to their employees by offering work flexibility in ways that meet company and employee needs. Trend data from our customer workforce assessments consistently show that employees report increased focus and productivity as mobile workers; many cite decreased commutes has reduced stress and strengthened commitment to their employers.

Make a resolution of your own – to help your employees keep theirs. Flexwork Global offers products and services to help you implement a corporate-supported flexible and mobile workplace in ways that supports the business; one that results in a happier and more productive workforce.

More On Commuting, Stress and Wellness:

Driving me crazy: How bad commutes affect employee retention

Designing a Healthy Lifestyle

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