How important is employee happiness to their employers? Not surprisingly, very important – job satisfaction leads to higher productivity, increased profits and lower turnover. The bottom line: keeping employees happy is essential for a company’s overall success. There are a lot of factors that go into employee happiness, but one of them is huge: commute.
The average commute time in the United States according to the Census Bureau is 25.4 minutes, but this can stretch as high as an hour or more with persistent traffic congestion. Studies have shown that long work commutes cause residual stress in the workplace, and this stress increases with the complexity of commutes (such as having to switch between train lines, or taking a bus to hop on rail to walk the last bit to the office).
At the end of the day, commutes are unavoidable. People need to get to work, and not everyone can afford to, or wants to, live 10 minutes from his/her workplace. But the stress of not knowing how long the drive is going to take or how long you’ll have to the wait for the next subway train is avoidable.
Corporations know commuter issues weigh heavily on employees and are committed offering solutions that ease these woes.
One solution is making the right information available at the right time. TransitScreen, a digital display of real-time arrival data for every transportation option, can help mitigate the overwhelming stress people feel about commutes. By placing a TransitScreen in the lobby of a commercial office building, tenants and employees have quick access to everything they need to make informed decisions about the commute home.
Development magazine profiled Microsoft’s Commute program, which eases life for the 44,400 full-time employees on the 500-acre Redmond, Washington, campus. The company’s real estate and facilities group has carefully crafted the program to improve the commuter experience and lessen the company’s carbon footprint by reducing the number of vehicles arriving each day.
Seattle’s Department of Transportation offers a mix of services to guide residents, businesses and commercial developers in navigating the city, providing developers and building managers with information on transportation options, bike and car share programs and toolkits that help mitigate traffic congestion in an effort to promote healthy, connected and livable urban communities.
Long, stressful commutes are unbearable. They decrease productivity, increase stress, and overall diminish a person’s quality of life. By offering tenants and employees options, employers may see improved performance, loyalty and job satisfaction.
Rachel Karitis is the Director of Marketing at TransitScreen, a Washington, DC-based company providing real-time information about all nearby mobility options in cities around the world.