Working From Home: Why Are We Still Commuting?

why are we still commuting

Did you know that people living in the city of Los Angeles spend an average of 102 days per year being stuck in traffic? Or that people living in Kenya, Hong Kong and India are spending an average of 1.5 hours commuting every day? It sounds ridiculous that commuting takes up such a big part of our lives. So why are we still commuting? 

Commuting is Time Consuming

In the 1800s the American labor unions invented the 9-to-5 workday – five days a week.  Two centuries later and nothing has significantly changed. One thing has changed dramatically, however: How and, above all, how often we move forward. Traffic jams especially in traffic peak hours are the result of our modern society. If there is a chance to get a better-paying job or to live in a more desirable area, we often tend to content with longer commuting hours.  

Nowadays technology is good enough to allow most people to work from home. However, changes within our road behaviour and workflows are so small.

According to a graphic published by Statista we know that the distance between home and work hasn’t changed dramatically in the past two decades. For comparison, in 1996 around  28% of workers used to commute between 6 and 15 miles, whereas in 2012 it is still around  27% of workers who commute this distance.

The Effects on Our Health

We know that commuting more than 30 minutes per day has a negative impact on our physical and mental health. According to a UK study with more than 34,000 participants. Research shows a correlation between long commuting hours and issues such as financial worries, less hour of sleep, obesity and depression. The next time you are in the situation to choose between two job offers, consider the distance between home and work. The further the distance, the more it affects your daily life. It will not only have an impact on the size of your wallet but also on your health situation. Little changes in our daily lives can have a huge impact on our well-being. Plus, we are able to combat some of the negative effects of a long commute. So whenever possible, take the bike or walk to work – your body will thank you.

Working from Home Is Ecofriendly

Commuting by car has big impacts on the constantly rising CO2 emission. Despite the ongoing climate crisis we are faving, commuting by car is still the most popular option. 68 % of all commuters in Germany are still taking the car, according to Statista. Online you will find lots of calculators, which show you how much CO2 you produce by commuting every day, depending on your vehicle and distance.

There are organisations which provide compensation payment programs like myclimate. The idea is to compensate the amount of CO2 produced by your chosen means of transportation. The amount of money compensated directly supports projects related to the climate crisis. Important to mention is that this kind of compensation contributes to climate protection, but does not reduce emissions.

Do We Really Need to Commute?

Unfortunately, burdens related to commuting like health, time or environment simply do not pay off.

Obvious solutions to reduce commuting hours are to move closer to work or alternatively work closer to home. But there are many tools out there which facilitates remote work. Collaboration tools for remote teams make it possible to be part of a team and still work from home. Tools for online video meetings or daily stand-ups are getting more and more popular. Regardless where you are working, you will be able to communicate with your colleagues face-to-face and feel the team spirit.

We at eyeson believe that working from home should be made possible for everyone. The above mentioned problems are not going to disappear in the near future. That’s why we need to look at alternatives and start changing the way we work.