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How Far Should You Be Commuting To Work?

21 March 2019
Zara Woodcock
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According to statistics, UK citizens spend over a year of their lives commuting to and from work. Londoners alone spend over 74 minutes commuting. The timing is double of the world average and it may be due to traffic and business.

Have you ever been offered a job but wondered whether it was worth commuting 1.5 hours every day to and from work? We are here to help you figure out when commuting becomes too much for a good work-life balance.

Is Your Annual Income Worth The Cost Of Commuting

Let’s say you earn £18,000 per annum before tax. The cost of commuting is £135 monthly with a travel card. If you’re taking home the amount of money is £1,200 after tax, is the costs of transport for work worth the amount of money you are receiving?

If you live outside of London and commute into the city, the costs of travel are some of the highest monthly spends in the UK. Over an entire lifetime, you would spend 559 days and £197,400 commuting.

So, if you do have to commute, make sure to take into account your income versus the money spent on transport every month. If you are one of those who gets to cycle or walks to work, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Is It Easy To Get To Work?

An important factor to take into consideration when deciding whether a commute will work for you is checking how easy it is to actually get to the office. Not all forms of transportation will be easy. For example, if the only way to work is via 3 trains and a bus, this may be where you decide it isn’t worth the extreme efforts.

Rail lines can be expensive and difficult to access if you’re not within a short distance of a direct route. However, long commutes do give you the opportunity for reading or catching up on other activities you may have missed out on. Although it is cheaper, if you have to drive 60 miles every day for work, it may become stressful over time as you do not get to sit and relax.

Is The Job An Opportunity Of A Lifetime?

Although the costs and time of commutes is a large hassle, it may be worth it if the benefits and challenges of the job are life-changing or an opportunity to better your career. If the job you are thinking of accepting has the potential to make your career or provide you with invaluable work experience, it might be worth the travelling. When deciding whether to accept the job, take the salary, room for progression, challenge, and uniqueness of the role into consideration.

Is There Flexibility In Your Role?

Is there a chance of your boss will expect you to be already working by 9 am exactly, every day? If you will get reprimanded for being a few minutes late every day due to unpredictable transportation systems, you may want to rethink the worthiness of the job.

There isn’t much you can do if the route you take tends to suffer from frequent delays from “bad weather conditions”, “rail works” or other mundane problems. If delays are something you suffer from, non-flexible hours may not be easy.

Is There A Chance of Relocating?

An extreme solution to the commuting problems is relocating closer to work. If this isn’t an option, the advice above is important to take into consideration. Before choosing to take the drastic route, be sure to think of all the opportunity costs through such as the costs of moving expenses, taxes, deposits and rent.

Still Need More Help?

With transport costs increasing yearly,  the stress of commuting tends to increase with it. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Londoners found using public transport as the most stressful part of living in the capital. Trains, during peak hours specifically, are carrying almost double the number of passengers they were designed to take.

Have a read of our step-by-step guide on the mistakes to avoid when applying for a job.