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Five Reasons Commuting Is Dead

Driving to and from work each day is bad for your health, commuting news most of us intuitively understand. A report published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that those with lengthy drives each day are likely to be both overweight and suffer from higher blood pressure.

If there is any good news here it’s that commuting is destined to become less frequent and less common for millions of workers. Commuting by office workers as we know it is finished — and in a big change, it’s likely that employers will become increasingly pleased with stay-at-home employees.

Why the change? Well, it’s largely a byproduct of time, technology and money. Here are the five reasons why commuting is going the way of disco and dial phones.

Productivity

First, the goal of every business is to maximize employee productivity. It doesn’t add money to the bottom line when workers are on the road every day and arriving at offices tired and frustrated. The better option is to let employees work from home where time can be used more productively and efficiently.

Second, for many workers today’s office is anyplace with an Internet connection and just about every place has one. It doesn’t make any difference to the recipient if the project is done at a home office or a suburban office park or downtown office tower. What counts is the end result and that result is likely to be better when workers are less frustrated and less hassled.

Money


Third, commuting costs money. Bosses who pay for parking and employees to pay for gas are both spending money that need not be spent. Also, employees with fewer health issues mean lower health insurance costs.

Commuting also costs money in the sense that employers need more office space for employees who work in formal settings. Why lease big space and pay big money when the alternative is cheaper and more efficient?

Fourth, the usual distance associated with working at home is now gone. People can share computer screens, documents and information when they are live and online, regardless of their location.

Fifth, if there are fewer commuters taxes will go down because local governments will have reduced costs for road expansion and repairing the highways which are now in place.

Commercial Real Estate

One casualty of the move toward less commuting will be commercial real estate. If more people commute there’s less need for formal office settings and in turn that can impact the mortgages used to finance modern office buildings.

Will the national commuting habit disappear overnight? Not hardly, but watch how many people now work from home several days a week with no loss in productivity or efficiency. It’s just the way the world is going.

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