A new Google Maps feature could make your crappy commute easier by sending alerts on traffic and train delays
Lengthy commutes are driving workers crazy.
In fact, more than one in five (23%) employees confessed that they have left a job because of a bad commute, according to a recent survey. And a third (34%) of Gen Z and millennial workers (ages 18 to 34 in this report) confessed they took off if it took too long to get to work.
The Robert Half employment firm queried 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. cities about their trips to and from their workplaces, and how that has changed in recent years. Overall, 39% of employees said their commutes have gotten better over the past five years, although 22% said they’ve gotten worse. And those living in infamously gridlocked cities including Chicago, Miami, New York and San Francisco resigned the most due to their commutes. Women were more likely to tough out a crappy commute than men, however, as only 20% left their jobs over the journey to clock in everyday, compared to 28% of their male colleagues.
The new survey didn’t identify how long these bad commutes were, or what exactly made them the last straw for so many employees. But commuting eats up a lot of our time: the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data pegs the average one-way commute at 26.1 minutes, which adds up for 4.35 hours a week if you commute for five days, and more than 200 hours (or almost nine days — or close to two weeks’ vacation) per year. And frequent delays add to the stress; in fact, Google data in 25 North American cities has found that daily driving commute times during rush hour can be up to 60% longer than what you anticipated when you first got in your car.
No wonder a quarter of 800 surveyed employees told CareerBuilder earlier this year that they are late for work at least once a month, and more than one in 10 (12%) say it’s a weekly problem. More than half (51%) blamed traffic, which was the most common excuse.
But help is on the way. On Monday, Google Maps added features to help users take control of their commutes. After setting up your daily route to and from work in the new commute tab, you’ll be alerted if an accident or heavy traffic is going to delay your drive into the office, meaning you should allow for more time to get in. The app will also suggest alternative routes to help you get to work faster.
Or if your commute is a chronic problem, talk to your employer about possibly working from home a few days a week, or adjusting your hours so that you can commute in during off-peak times when roads and trains are less congested. Not sure how to start the conversation? If you’re a great employee and you don’t need to be physically present at your workplace every day to get your job done, then observe whether any of your coworkers work remotely. This will help you make a more convincing case. Read here for some more tips on getting a more flexible schedule.
“Commutes can have a major impact on morale and, ultimately, an employee’s decision to stay with or leave a job,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half in a statement. “In today’s candidate-driven market, skilled workers can have multiple offers on the table. Professionals may not need to put up with a lengthy or stressful trip to the office if there are better options available. To help ease commuting woes, companies can offer remote work options, flexible scheduling or transportation amenities.”
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