More than 5 million Americans call in sick to avoid commute

Commuting significantly impacts job satisfaction: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/27/2011

More than five million employed American adults have called in sick to work to avoid their commute, according to a survey by The Workforce Institute.

Of the 2,000 survey respondents who commute to work, four per cent said they have called in sick because they couldn’t face their commute — which extrapolates to five million employed Americans, found the survey. These kinds of unscheduled absences cost organizations 8.7 per cent of payroll each year.

For many adults who commute to work — 48 per cent of survey respondents — commuting has a significant impact on job satisfaction and 32 per cent said they took the commute into consideration when they chose their current job. Fifteen per cent said they would change jobs to shorten their commute and 11 per cent feel their commute negatively impacts their work-life balance.

"Managers should be mindful of the time their employees spend commuting as our survey shows it has a significant impact on job satisfaction,” said Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute. “Where possible, putting policies in place to allow employees to travel during non-peak hours or work from home can increase employee satisfaction without a negative impact on the bottom line."

Few adults who commute to work — just six per cent of survey respondents — are paid for the time they spend commuting. Round-trip commuting times vary, but 45 per cent of survey respondents spend less than 30 minutes, 32 per cent spend 30 to 59 minutes and 16 per cent spend one to two hours, found the survey.

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