If you live in a large city you know that driving to work can be horrendous. Especially down here in Miami, where rush hour traffic can set you back an hour or two. Even in cities like NYC, the subway commutes can range from 30-40 minutes — and longer if you’re in the outer boroughs.  

So, if you or your employees live far from the office or are “hyper commuting,” you are literally wasting up six to eight hours commuting a week.

Aside from the mental health and stress component that is associated with having long commutes, individuals (and companies) as a whole have to deal with the loss in productivity. The hours wasted on preparing to go to work, and behind the wheel or in the subway, affect the output of work. There has been a whole study devoted to these findings …

Short Commutes are Scientifically Proven to Improve Quality of Life

Did you know that adding an extra 20 minutes to your commute brings as much stress as taking a 19% pay cut

Longer commutes are typically associated with employees that live in the outskirts of a major city. They work a bit longer to attain the job or home life that they want, however, their daily stress leave little room to enjoy either. 

And when other factors like car accidents, horrible weather, and aggressive driving are taken into consideration, it tends to just increase stress and making cortisol level spike. Psychologists throughout the globe that all agree that the heightened stress from a long commute negatively affects a person’s home-life and their output.  

There are other ways that long commutes affect workers physically. Here are a couple of examples:  

  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Digestive Problems
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Fatigue 
  • Concentration Problems 

According to Scientific American, about 90% of men and women have a commute of about 45 minutes or longer. Allowing them to be classified as an “extreme commuter.’ The same study also found that the psychosomatic condition of the individuals proved that they were completely unhealthy. 

In a perfect world, it would be ideal to be a short bike ride away, and several countries that ranked high in the OECD quality of life index made sure to invest heavily in comfortable public transit, and lessening commutes.

So how can you or your company function without having to worry about an employee’s health, stress, and, of course, productivity. The answer is: find an alternative work situation. 

Large Metropolitan Areas Provide Different Options for Flexible Work Arrangements

The best part of living in a large, diverse city, is that people can learn from the culture around them. Good restaurants, nice hang out spots, and, in most places, beautiful art sculptures throughout the city. Large cities usually tend to “build upward,” (lots, high-rises, etc.) instead of spreading housing a bit more far out. 

Unfortunately, driving to and from a major city on a daily basis is not as fun. 

Usually, a lot of the major businesses have a presence right in the heart of a city. Making it easy for most employees to access — especially the ones that live near the office. The difficult part is getting the aforementioned hyper commuters to remain engaged and productive. 

This is the reason why it’s best to have a flexible work schedule is to give workers autonomy and freedom to work from both home and work. 

In my experience starting companies, I never really made an effort to keep employees in the office, what worked was having people come to the office a minimum of two days, for meetings and brainstorming sessions

To sum it up: an employees’ engagement and output will usually remain the same, if not improve if the company is willing to work out some kind of arrangement that’s flexible. Especially a commute that is in walking or biking distance.

The other thing to take into consideration is investing in a shared office space, or coworking office, that companies can use as their satellite office. 

How a City Like Miami Can Start Creating Better Work Arrangement

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses in the greater Miami area haven’t really adapted to the “future of work,” some managers view remote work arrangements and coworking spaces as an unrealistic option.  

The new wave of companies here are being progressive, and shared offices are now becoming more prominent throughout the city. In fact, there is at least one coworking space in every popular part of the city. Meaning that you can conduct business near your neighborhood, without having to spend 2 hours in the palmetto or turnpike every morning. 

If you’re a bit further out, but still want to work in an inspiring location, work out of Wynwood. There are several creative-friendly spaces.  Minds CoWork, is ideal for solopreneurs and growing businesses. Just the fact that you’re business can operate in a neighborhood that people from Miami, and around the globe, want to visit. 

Don’t Like Going on a Long Commute? Join Minds Community

Right now, transitioning from a work-from-home arrangement back to an office or coffee shop can seem daunting. If you’re in the South Florida area, visit Minds CoWork and we’ll provide you with a free day pass, we’ll give you a quick tour and you can plug in your computer and get to work.