The effect commuting has on our wellbeing!

According to recent data collected in the 2019 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics the survey which had more than 17,000 Australians respond – found that workers are spending an average of 4.5 hours commuting to and from work each week. That’s an increase of 23% since 2002.

The worst city for commutes is Sydney, with a daily average of 71 minutes, followed by Brisbane (67 minutes) and Melbourne (65 minutes).

18% of respondents have a commute of 2 hours or more, compared to 12 per cent of those surveyed in 2002.

Commute times were not only dependent on infrastructure (or lack thereof) or population size (although both would be major factors), it also depends on the type of work the person is engaging in.

On average, technicians and trade workers have to travel more because they tend to change locations during the day whilst sales workers had the shortest commutes. 

And employees aren’t leaving their frustrations at the door when they finally do get to work. The research shows that long commutes affect employees’ overall satisfaction with their jobs. 24% of long commuters are considering leaving their jobs in the next twelve months and feel less satisfied with the hours worked, salaries and ability to have work flexibility than those with shorter commute times.

The obvious reason these longer hours commuting are impacting worker’s wellbeing is because it’s eating into their leisure time. But researchers from RMIT and the University of Melbourne have also identified other potential issues.

Lengthy commuting also potentially increases exposure to nuisances and hazards such as traffic noise, crowds, congestion, pollution and uncomfortably hot or cold conditions. These can cause physical or emotional distress and have a direct influence on people’s physical and mental health.

There is certainly something to be said about finding alternative methods of commuting, to minimize our exposure to these hazards and/or at least find enjoyment in how we commute. 

Whats your opinion on how we should shorten commute times?

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