Commuters in a crowded train. The photo focuses on the back of a Cloudstaff employee who is facing the other commuters.

Why employee commute time matters more than you think

We don’t often pay much attention to our daily commute, but research consistently shows that the time being spent travelling to and from work has a substantial effect on overall job satisfaction and mental well-being.

The daily commute is an unpaid chore that very few of us can avoid. It is usually an unproductive activity where workers spend their time sedentary on public transport or in their own vehicle. Apart from the unproductive nature of the daily grind, there are also some more serious repercussions to commuting that you’re probably not aware of.

Long commute times decrease work satisfaction

A study from the University of the West of England reveals that every extra minute of commute time reduces an employee’s overall job satisfaction, concluding that an additional 20 minutes of commute time is as bad as a 19% pay cut.

“It’s the worst I have ever experienced.” That’s how Cloudstaff Training Specialist, Lester, describes the 2-hour each-way journey that he used to make every day travelling from Pampanga to Manila for his former employer. 

“After every tiring commute, I always find myself in a bad mood and having low productivity. Even my mental processes would slow down…” he added. 

Lester’s experience is not unusual when commuting in the Philippines. Manila, being the world’s most densely populated city, means that the daily work commute often becomes unbearable.  Extensive travel time is one of the most common reasons why Filipino employees choose to leave their jobs. 

Today, Lester is based in Cloudstaff’s CRK07 office where he is only a 10-minute walk away from his apartment—his daily commute could not be easier and he could not be happier.

Impacts of commuting beyond work

The effects of long commute times are not just restricted to satisfaction in the workplace, they also take a toll on workers’ personal lives, health and wellbeing.

Family and social life

Squeezing everything into the limited time left over after the daily commute is challenging, and long commutes only make things worse by stealing a part of that already short time. More often than not, workers with long commutes are forced to sacrifice their family time and social life. 

Physical and mental well-being

A long commute is also linked to obesity and high blood pressure. When we remain idle for extended periods of time, we lack the will and stamina to undertake active tasks, like exercise. Furthermore, long commutes may increase stress levels and lead to shorter patience and lower energy.

Cloudstaff’s strategically located offices

Whenever Cloudstaff scouts for a new office location, we always choose a location close to the major residential areas where the staff lives and ensure that all locations are near public transport hubs. 

This deliberate strategy results in shorter commute times for our staff, and makes Cloudstaff a more attractive option for employees. It also greatly improves the work-life balance and mental wellness of our Cloustaff family. 

Our recent staff transit survey shows that 84% of Cloudstaffers are just less than an hour away from their offices, and their average commute time was just 30 minutes from their office

The Cloudstaff Staff Transit survey also highlighted that more than half of all Cloudstaffers travel to work by jeepney (A uniquely Filipino transport model that utilises converted US Army jeeps that service regular routes across the cities and towns). 

Strategically locating our offices in order to reduce staff transit time is one of the many contributing factors that keep Cloudstaff’s staff retention rate as high as 98.1%. 

Why you should care about staff transit time

Employee attrition in the BPO industry typically runs at a rate of 15 to 20% per month. In other BPOs, this means that in any given month, one-fifth of your workforce is turning over. 

Of course this has a hugely disruptive effect on clients who are always having to retrain new staff to bring them up to speed. Then you have to do it all over again when the next employee leaves.

At Cloudstaff, we’re different. Reducing staff travel time is just one of the many strategies we use to keep our employee retention as high as possible. We go to this effort because we know it pays massive dividends for our clients in the form of:

  • Less overall disruption and less downtime
  • Less retraining effort required
  • Team members are more stable, reliable and predictable
  • Team members are able to spend extra hours in the day (where they are not commuting) growing their skill sets in order to do even more for their clients

We are not only committed to providing the highest quality staff available for your business but we are also committed to keeping them! Speak to us today about how we can help you find long term, high performance staff to join your team.  

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