Are Long Commute Times Impacting Your Retention Rate?

iStock_000062240856_SmallLong commute times? They’re a real drag.

But for many professionals, they’re more than just an inconvenience – they’re a reason to turn down a job offer or quit.

Not convinced? Consider these facts and statistics:

  • Dr. John Sullivan’s recent post states that major employers like Xerox and KeyBank have found a connection between commute time and new-hire retention and success.
  • Research conducted for one manufacturer showed that, at 13 miles (approximately a 30- to 45-minute commute), the probability of quitting jumped to over 92 percent.
  • By contrast, research by Evolv found that an extremely short commute distance (zero to five miles) led employees to remain at their jobs 20 percent longer.

Gas. Tolls. Parking. Vehicle wear-and-tear. The hard costs of commuting add up quickly. And that’s just part of the price employees pay for long commutes. Consider, too, the “soft costs” that impact employees’ well being:

  • The irritation factor. Heavy traffic and crowded, noisy public transportation can be extremely annoying. Even if employees make it to work on time, they may not be in a great frame of mind after a hairy commute.
  • The opportunity cost. The hours employees spend each week commuting are lost. Those are precious hours they could be spending with their families, or simply living their lives outside of work.
  • Diminished performance. Travel-weary employees are prone to higher absenteeism rates, frequent tardiness and increased error rates. Over time, these factors negatively impact not just commuters, but their entire departments.

It’s pretty logical. If an individual thinks a commute is too costly, they’re not likely to take – or stay with – a job. The question is: what’s the alternative?

You guessed it – greater work flex! Here are a few options to consider:

  • Allow employees to experiment with start times. Commuting before or after rush hour can substantially impact total drive time. When possible, give your employees the freedom to shift their work hours in order to reduce their commutes.
  • Offer telecommuting. Explore the feasibility of permitting employees to work from home at least part of the time.
  • Consider compressed work weeks. Working four 10-hour days, for example, can reduce total weekly commute times by over 20 percent.
  • Promote your flex work options in your recruiting. If your organization accommodates employees’ need for flexibility, shout it from the rooftops! Prospective candidates who would otherwise ignore your job post (because they assume the commute will kill them) may give your opportunity a second look. And sometimes, that’s all you need to attract your next great employee.

Long commute times impacting your recruiting and retention?

Corps Team’s flexible professional staffing and search services can help you turn things around. Whether you need extra support to execute flex work initiatives, or are looking to hire employees who will stay working for you longer, the recruiting experts at your local Corps Team office can help you find and keep the great people you need.

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