I don’t commute. I work from home. And I love it. I think of it as getting an extra hour a day. Add that up over the years and it’s a huge chunk of my life that’s given back to me. Not to mention the emotional toll that’s saved from not doing a rush hour commute, especially one on public transportation. (I still have flashbacks to the #66 Chicago Avenue bus I used to take to our office, including the one time – at 10am – a guy started snorting coke off his bus pass while sitting next to me.)
The toll that commuting can have on you is discussed in this article at BusinessWeek. It mentions “the commuting paradox” and why the trade-off of a long distance commute is rarely worth it.
Most people travel long distances with the idea that they’ll accept the burden for something better, be it a house, salary, or school. They presume the trade-off is worth the agony. But studies show that commuters are on average much less satisfied with their lives than noncommuters. A commuter who travels one hour, one way, would have to make 40% more than his current salary to be as fully satisfied with his life as a noncommuter, say economists Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer of the University of Zurich’s Institute for Empirical Research in Economics. People usually overestimate the value of the things they’ll obtain by commuting – more money, more material goods, more prestige – and underestimate the benefit of what they are losing: social connections, hobbies, and health. “Commuting is a stress that doesn’t pay off,” says Stutzer…Commuting is also associated with raised blood pressure, musculoskeletal disorders, increased hostility, lateness, absenteeism, and adverse effects on cognitive performance.
Seems like yet another reason to consider remote workers. Who wouldn’t want a team that’s filled with folks who are less stressed and more satisfied with their lives?