Before you can do your job at work, you have to get there.

New research from Robert Half, a global research firm, finds nearly 1 in 4 have left a job because of a bad commute.

Of those polled, 23 percent admitted leaving a job because it was too difficult to get to. But 39 percent said traveling to and from the office has improved over five years. Another 22 percent said it has gotten worse.

"Younger workers are more often likely to leave the job because of the bad commute," Dora Onyschak, metro market manager for Robert Half in Woodbridge, said. Speaking about New Jersey's commute, specifically, she said: "We have so much construction. We have public transportation woes. And I think people define bad commute differently, depending on who you are.

"My bad commute could just be a lot of traffic on my 25-minute commute to work, and yours might be smooth sailing. But it could take you an hour to get to work."

Onyschak said certain jobs may be able to help with the commute, with telecommuting.

"Unless you ask, you do not know what is available, or what flexibility they have," she said.

Some other ways employers can help employees with their commutes:

• Conduct surveys to figure out how much commutes actually impact their work days, stress levels and their contentment at work.

• Offer staggered work hours, so that employees might have the option to travel outside of core traffic times.

• Offer commuting benefits, whether that means subsidizing parking or public transit, or offering some other benefits that do not necessarily relate to time spent.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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