Workforce Management
04 Mar 2024

Commute Stress: An Overlooked Factor That Affects Workplace Productivity

Long commutes to work can be one of the most mentally draining activities for an employee. It is one of those mundane daily tasks that people do out of necessity. Oftentimes, the hours that an employee spends commuting directly contribute to the stress that they face at their workplace. This even results in general tiredness and a lack of motivation throughout the day. With congested cities and traffic jams being commonplace, it’s high time that we recognize commuting as a strong factor in stress among employees. This is a very grave situation for any organization, as it affects employee satisfaction and may lead to very low levels of productivity.

A long and excruciating commute to the workplace can lower an employee’s morale even before they start their work. Most of the time, employees rely on public transit, which can be unreliable and overcrowded at times, making their commute even more frustrating.

This issue becomes compounded when taking into account things like adverse weather conditions, rising fuel costs, and vehicle maintenance. Thus, it’s only fair to think that when confronted with this predicament on a daily basis, the employees might decide to resign and look for a more optimal workplace for them.

If this situation continues and is not addressed in a timely manner, it may manifest in forms that are detrimental to the proper functioning of an organization. It can cause problems like low levels of productivity, reduced employee engagement, poor team performance, increased absenteeism, missed deadlines, and poor mental and physical health of employees, among other things. Combined, in the long run, these issues will lead to poor employee retention rates.

A proper work-life balance is crucial for the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of an individual. As Philip Green put it, "It's all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family." But commute stress hampers this balance and makes people’s jobs a dreaded part of their lives. This needs to change, and it's the organizations that have to lead the way. After all, it’s only in their interest to keep their employees stress-free and happy.

The issue of commute stress can be tackled in a variety of ways-

  • Shuttle services- Having a fleet of cabs and investing in fleet management is very important for every company with a sizable number of employees. Organizations can provide shuttle services to their employees so that they can avoid long waiting periods and rush at bus stops, train stations, metro stations, etc. Traveling in these designated shuttles will help the employees have a relaxed and smooth commute experience.
  • Employee Ridership Applications- The shuttle services of an organization can be managed and supervised in a more efficient and streamlined manner using these applications. An employee ridership application like Loqqat Ride is equipped with a number of features that can prove to be effective in reducing overall commute stress levels. These features include:

o Reservation of seats

o ETAs

o Real-time tracking

o Same-day reservation of seats

o Manual check-in options (without reserving seats)

o Optimized routes for an efficient commute

  • Flexible work schedules: With flexible working hours, employees can travel at off-peak times, both in the morning and the evening, to shorten their commute time and guarantee a stress-free work commute.
  • Telecommuting/Work from Home (WFH) options: For employees having to travel long distances, WFH can be allowed for at least 1-2 days or more on a weekly basis, based on their work requirements. This will provide them with some relief and may boost their morale.

If all the aforementioned solutions do not suit your needs or seem impractical for your organization, you can still invest your time in conducting other stress-releasing activities like meditation sessions, team lunches, team outings, employee engagement programmes, etc. Even though they might not alleviate commute stress, these activities can still mitigate the stress, frustration, and burnout that employees experience during their work hours. As the saying goes, "Something is better than nothing."

What are your thoughts on this issue? Share with us and also comment down below any other creative ideas that you might have to handle commute stress and employee burnout in general.

Copyright © 2024 Qaptive Technologies Pvt. Ltd