Is your commute killing you? Join the club. It’s not uncommon for American workers to leave a job only because the act of getting to and from the office is such a chore.
A recent survey by Robert Half, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm, shows that nearly one in five employees who work in an office environment have quit a job for exactly that reason. The survey also reveals the cities where employees are most likely to face commutes that send them in search of greener (meaning closer) employment pastures.
Commuters in some areas say that the ride to work is improving, but many more think the commutes in their cities are getting harder. The results of this study might help job seekers weigh the commuting burdens of different areas. If you’re an employer, the results might convince you to do something to relieve the commuting burden for your staff—maybe with more flexible hours or even work-from-home arrangements—because replacing employees is disruptive and expensive.
The survey, which polled more than 2,800 American adults who work in office environments, revealed that 23% of respondents had left jobs because of a bad commute. This was most likely to have happened in Chicago, followed by Miami, New York and San Francisco.
In some places, things seem to be looking up—not so much in others. Many employees in certain cities said their commutes have been improving—and several of those cities are the same ones where things are currently the worst. About 66% of Miami workers think commutes are improving, followed by 58% in Los Angeles, 53% in New York and 46% in Charlotte, North Carolina. Younger workers ages 18 to 34 are most likely to have left a job because of a bad commute in the past, but they’re also the most likely to currently perceive an improvement.
Where did the most respondents think that commutes are getting worse? It was Seattle, Denver, Austin and San Francisco. Overall, about 39% of respondents said that their commutes have gotten easier over the last five years compared with 22% who said their commutes have gotten worse. If things are indeed looking up, it’s largely no thanks to the boss. A full 60% of those surveyed said their companies have not done enough to alleviate their commuting headaches.