The daily commute to work, how long is too long?

According to Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, nine out of ten of us (Australians) spend more than 90 minutes a day travelling to and from work.

Mr Shorten notes that the distance between where Australians live and where we work, is growing fast, with most new jobs occurring within 10km of the CBD and majority of the population growth occurring in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, more than 20km from the CBD.

As cars remain the dominant form of travel in Melbourne, suburban commuters face freeway capacity constraints and a restriction in traffic flow every day. Long commutes can make us feel lonely, stressed and unhappy. The value of time spent commuting to and from work however comes down to the enjoyment of work itself.

Why commute? The rationale of a lengthy drive

  • We enjoy what we do – This applies to many of us at Accru, “Friendly, professional and fun with a good work life balance” is how our staff describe our culture.
  • Future career – Having a job with clear career progression and job security can be worth a longer commute than a job than doesn’t
  • Downtime – Some of us enjoy spending some time alone to think and gather our thoughts.

The downside

  • Long commutes can sometimes cause stress and fatigue.
  • They reduce the time available for other activities such as social events and family milestones.

Making the best of a long commute

  • Change your daily route – Enjoy Melbourne’s finest scenery by switching up your daily drive.
  • Find your happy medium – Integrate what fuels you. Scheduling time to do the things that fuel you will leave you feeling refreshed and energised.
  • Change your shoes before the drive! Ladies swap your work heels for some comfy shoes.
  • Utilise your travel time – Instead of listening to Australia’s top 100 hits, spend your drive calling your family/ friends, wirelessly of course!

Don’t sacrifice what’s really important

  • Evaluate your priorities – Create a personal list of priorities and allocate time to spend on each activity throughout your working week. Remember, variety is key.
  • Remember to exercise; sustaining a healthy and happy lifestyle is the key to a balanced life.
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