Workers say employers should pay for their commute if they want them back in the office

Workers say employers should pay for their commute if they want them back in the office
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Happy workers are the ones who commute to work for free.

  • 8 out of 10 workers in a new survey said a free commute would persuade them to return to the office.
  • Workers said longer commutes, especially, can disrupt their work-life balance.
  • The average commute cost has surged drastically since the pandemic. 

If you’re an employer trying to lure your workers back to the office, perks like ping pong tables, free snacks, and trendy decor are unlikely to make a difference. Instead, consider a more practical benefit: Cover their commuting costs.

Some 8 out of 10 employees say they’d be more willing to return to the office if their employer paid for their commute, according to a survey that Ringover, a staffing and sales platform, conducted of 1,038 workers. Ringover surveyed remote workers (or those who were remote until recently) about what it would take for them to be down to return to the office.

Workers spent an average of $8,466 annually, or about $700 a month, on commuting to the office, accounting for gas, car maintenance, the income lost due to commuting, car insurance, and more, according to a 2023 survey from Bankrate. That’s a drastic surge from 2019, when the average annual commute cost varied from a low of $2,000 in states like West Virginia to a high of $5,000 in North Dakota.

And while commute times in several cities have shortened since the pandemic, the average one-way office commute is still about 27 minutes, according to The New York Times. That’s about an hour spent going back and forth between work every day, and many remote workers now see that as time that could be put to better use in their personal lives.

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There’s always one exception, of course. A class of “super commuters” are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars on their commute to save costs elsewhere. Some workers moved to smaller, cheaper cities during the pandemic but still work in more expensive metropolitan areas. They say the money they save on rent outweighs the costs of flight tickets, hotel rates, and even the hassle of planning a long-term commute.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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