Canada's Spooky Worker Commutes

Survey Reveals Average Time Spent Getting To and From Work

  • Workers spend an average of 53 minutes commuting each day

  • 28 per cent of Canadian workers say commutes are too long

Toronto, ON — As the scariest day of the year approaches, staffing firm Robert Half surveyed Canadian workers to determine how long they spend commuting to and from the office. The survey found that the average travel time is 53 minutes, which, according to more than one-quarter of respondents, is too long.

When it comes to stress associated with commutes, Canadians ranked stress levels an average of four out of 10, with 10 being the most stressed.

Robert Half commissioned an independent research firm to collect the data. More than 500 workers in Canada were surveyed in September 2017.

Can Employers Lessen Commute Headaches?

Commute times rank as a top concern among employees when considering a job offer, according to feedback gathered from Robert Half’s recruiters.

“With today’s increasingly dispersed workforce, organizations need to be proactive in mitigating the impact that lengthy commutes can have on both employee morale and productivity,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “If commute times are causing stress for employees or hindering performance, managers should consider alternative work arrangements that provide flexibility without compromising daily business obligations.”

If you’re an employer concerned that a lengthy commute could be hurting retention efforts or scaring away potential candidates, consider the following solutions:

  • Survey your employee base. Talk to your workers individually or conduct surveys to gauge how much their commutes might be impacting their workday. Research surrounding firms and companies in your industry to see how they handle commuting issues.

  • Offer staggered work schedules. Give employees the option to work during hours when the traffic isn’t heavy. Staggered schedules can also provide the benefit of longer coverage.

  • Consider telecommuting options. Many companies allow employees to work remotely on occasion. If workers’ responsibilities allow, consider offering telecommuting options several days a week.

  • Increase commuting benefits. If you already provide commuting benefits, find out how much they are being used. Once you know which are being most utilized, you can make educated decisions to enhance or modify them. If you don’t offer these benefits, consider adding some, like subsidized public transportation or company-sponsored carpooling.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at roberthalf.ca. For career and management advice, follow our blog at roberthalf.ca/blog. Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.