Commuters in and around large cities spend years of their lives in transit. Two hours of commuting, delayed trains, and waking up early to clear snow have long been the norm. Every day, the same cycle, trying to make it to the office on time. The last two years have changed all of that.
Extended commute time leads to burn out and poor work/life balance. However, companies that have successfully pivoted and maintained their workforce remotely will see less turnover in the months ahead.
Eliminating the commute has made a tangible difference in expenses. It’s not difficult to assign a dollar value. Without the commute, employees reduce costs like before-school childcare, transportation costs, coffee-to-go, or going to lunch – especially in large cities where the convenience of restaurants on every corner outweigh the hassle of packing a lunch.
Although eliminating the commute likely has a big impact on daily costs incurred, it also recognizes value to your time. You aren’t paid to as you drive, ride, and schlep across Manhattan for an 8AM meeting.
Being able to work from home is a major benefit in many industries. Not all careers can provide this flexibility. Thus, organizations that were able to embrace remote culture successfully will also come out on top in the battle for top talent. They will see less turnover in the months ahead. Employees who have thrived in their jobs during the pandemic are producing at high levels – even outside of the office.
Productive employees who are not being forced to commute every day are able to enjoy their day, and likely their work more. The shift from a forced schedule and rigid commute times has been a breath of fresh air. It has likely increased the length of time that employees are staying in their positions.
The ability to replace commuting with increased mental and physical wellness, family time, and flexibility is priceless. Even mundane tasks like making a doctor’s appointment become less burdensome when you aren’t required to take PTO for a morning appointment that would otherwise have been your commuting time. This is the work-life balance shift that many have been waiting for.
Return-to-office policies have largely been thwarted by COVID variants like Delta or Omicron. However, these delays have furthered the notion that in-office doesn’t mean more productive or more successful. In fact, companies now have two years’ worth of data to support the continued success of a remote environment. Competitive companies will see time as a core recruitment and retention tool. They will thrive and retain talent because they can recognize that time is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively.