Polls / January 18, 2010

How long do you travel from home to work?

A commute to work of less than 30 minutes is part of the routine of 53% of respondents to the latest eZonomics poll. Just 1% are "super commuters", clocking up a trip of more than two hours - or more than four hours a day if they go to work and home again.

All around the globe, workers spend time and money travelling to work
The commute to work is a necessary chore for many. A study reported by The Economist showed the average commute time to work in 13 countries and the proportion of poll respondents who considered leaving their job because of the commute. China topped both measures, with an average commute of more than 40 minutes and 32% of respondents who had considered quitting. India had the next longest average commute time. South Africans, had a relatively short commute (between 25 and 30 minutes) but 32% had considered quitting. In Europe, Belgian and German workers had the third and fourth longest commutes respectively and 15% of respondents in each considered quitting. The picture was better in the Netherlands, where the average commute was 25 to 30 minutes and 9% had considered leaving their job because of commute time.

Factor the costs of commuting into your budget
The cost of travelling from home to work effectively reduces the amount of money earned. Like the eZonomics story about money illusion that argued inflation and other factors could be used when negotiating a pay rise, so too could the costs of travel. The Get Rich Slowly blog covered how to calculate your real hourly wage and noted costs involved with the job - including the time and money spent commuting - effectively reduced earnings. A 2008 Dutch study put the costs of commuting at €17 per hour.

Before you sign on the dotted line, think about the trave time
If you are looking to change jobs for one that's better paid, don't forget to work out if there will be extra travel costs.
A lower paid job closer to where you live could in effect give you a higher income.
For renters, changing jobs may make moving to a new city or a new part of town a sensible option.


eZonomics team
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