The Real Cost of Commuting

Open up any of our major jobs sites and the majority of the jobs listed are in our nation’s capital.  How does this affect the thousands of people that are seeking work closer to home?  Well, many times people need to make long commutes to and from work, it is not unusual for people to spend 3 hours per day traveling to and from work.  So when a job opportunity arises closer to home and the salary is lower than you are currently on here are some points to consider about the real cost of commuting.

We all know that it costs money to commute to work every day.  As an example, a person traveling from Kilkenny to Dublin for a full-time position can be spending an extra €10,000 every year.  To put that into perspective you would need earning an extra €20,000 to take home €10,000.

However, have you ever considered the other prices you are paying for your daily commute?   I have highlighted some of the main ones I hear on a regular basis.

Less time spent with family and loved ones

For men, a one hour increase in commute time led to a 21.8 minute decrease in time spent with the spouse, 18.6 minute decrease in time with children, and 7.2 minute decrease in time with friends. For women, a one hour increase in their commute led to 11.9 minute decrease in time spent with friends.

 

No Career progression

Due to time behind the wheel: Inability to dedicate time to further education that could seal the deal on that big promotion.

 

Mental Health

Longer commutes are systematically associated with lower rates of well-being.

Road rage – With road rage, you’re basically driving under the influence of impaired emotions

Sitting in traffic – Of course! Whether you’re late getting somewhere or really just want to get home, stalling at an intersection while the light turns green more than once can make anyone itch with anxiety.

Lack of sleep

Commuters wake up earlier and sleep less on weekdays than non-commuters. As the commute becomes longer, the differences become more pronounced.

 

Physical Health

Lengthy commuting times have been linked to a wide range of health ailments, including hypertension and obesity.

The operative word in the phrase “sitting in traffic” is “sitting.” Sure, you can tap your toe, play air guitar, or bang your head against the steering wheel.

 

All of this said you will be healthier and happier if you can avoid the commute by aiming to get a role closer to home.

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Comments 2

  1. Leslie Gilmour

    Very interesting statistic about how much family time commuters sacrifice.

    I would personally always be in favor of remote work, if possible – while it comes with its own set of struggles and challenges, it offers a lot more flexibility in return.

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