Do you find the commute to work is getting longer and more stressful by the day? Get in line. In a recent Robert Half survey, 50% of professionals surveyed nationwide say their commute is stressful and 45% feel their commute is way too long.

Workers also say they spend an average of 48 minutes commuting each day round trip and nearly 1 if 5 said their travel time exceeds one hour daily round trip, according to Joe Carrabs, Robert Half's metro market manager in Saddlebrook.

The Greater New York and New Jersey metro area has the second longest commute, according to the survey, clocking in at an average of 61 minutes. Carrabs says only Washington, D.C., was worse at 65.8 minutes for a daily round trip commute.

A May 2019 report from Sky Blue Credit takes it one step further, saying the average person in New Jersey spends about 11.4 days in transit to work every year.

Carrabs believes the reasons for the long daily commutes are due to varying traffic patterns, weather and transportation options.

He said these long, stressful commutes can affect an employee's ability at work. Stress has a direct impact on an employee's happiness, engagement and productivity at work, which can affect the dynamics of the entire team, said Carrabs.

Managers should pay close attention to the morale and stress levels of their teams, he added. They should consider commute teams when discussing benefits with their current and future employees.

The survey found that 43% of companies said they offered flexible scheduling to avoid high traffic times. About 40% offer telecommuting to help alleviate long, stressful commutes.

"Some employers also subsidize parking or fuel costs, offer gas delivery services, provide shuttles to and from public transportation and connect employees interested in carpooling," said Carrabs.

He also suggested that managers talk to workers and conduct surveys to gauge how much their commutes are impacting their workday. It may also be a good idea to research surrounding firms and companies in the industry to see how they are handling commuting issues. If the company already offers commuting benefits, Carrabs said it should find out how much they're being used, then make an educational decision on how to modify them.

If an employee needs to approach a manager about better commuting solutions, the first thing he or she should so, said Carrabs, is to do their homework and research what other companies offer as far as commuting benefits. A professional should  ask what he or she would want based on the current commute and what benefits they'd like offered.

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