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Stressed Behind the Wheel

Published Friday Nov 8, 2019

Are employees stressed out before they even arrive at the office? In a new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half, half of professionals said traveling to and from work is stressful.

According to a Robert Half survey, 50% of professionals said their work commute is stressful. In addition, 45% of respondents lamented that their trip to the office is too long, up from 30% in a similar 2017 survey. See the infographic for a full breakdown of the most stressful and longest commutes:

In addition, 45% say their trip to the office is too long, up from 30% in a similar 2017 survey. Professionals said they spend an average of 48.37 minutes commuting each day, and nearly one in five said their travel time exceeds an hour.

View an infographic of cities with the most stressful and longest commutes.

Additional findings:

  • Among the 28 U.S. cities in the survey, respondents in MiamiSan Diego and Austin are the most stressed about their trip to and from the office.
  • Men and workers ages 25 to 40 have the highest levels of stress about traveling to work.
  • Los Angeles (65%), Austin and Miami (62% each) have the most professionals who feel their commute is too long.
  • More workers ages 25 to 40 (54%) and men (52%) described their trips as too lengthy.
  • Washington, D.C. (65.84 minutes); New York (60.80 minutes); and Houston (59.15 minutes) professionals reported the longest travel times.
  • In a separate survey, senior managers said their company offers flexible scheduling to avoid peak traffic times (43%) and telecommuting (40%) to help alleviate employees' stressful trips.

"When workers have difficult commutes into the office, their engagement and productivity can suffer the rest of the day. This may affect staff satisfaction and retention in the long run," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "With the current employment environment favoring job seekers, organizations can't afford to ignore the issue and lose their best team members to other opportunities."

McDonald adds, "There's a business case for helping employees maximize their time and minimize stress by offering perks like flexible schedules and telecommuting options when possible. To stay competitive, some companies also provide creative resources for carpooling, public transportation, parking and fuel."

For more tips on how to deal with a bad commute, visit the Robert Half blog.

About the Research: The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in 28 major U.S. cities and more than 2,800 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For additional management and career advice, visit the Robert Half blog at

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