How Long is the Perfect Commute? – Thoughts about commute time have changed drastically after the pandemic hit the US in 2020.
More people have to think about working from home versus commuting to work on a regular basis. Since 2019, working from home has become more popular and in 2020 the pandemic required many workers to work completely remote. Let’s talk about the perfect commute!
How Long is the Perfect Commute?
Thoughts to consider if you work completely from home
In 2021, employers are starting to have employees work in the office, at least part-time. With Zoom fatigue making productivity challenging for some, you have to think about how you can make your home office environment good for you and your job. That may include some of the following home office criteria:
- Converting a room with a door to your home office and have an appropriate background wall for Zoom or WebEx meetings
- Using furniture and office equipment provided or required from your employer (such as dual monitors or a standing desk)
- Choosing a more quiet area of your home for your office instead of working in an open area like your kitchen or dining room where noise creates distraction.
Thoughts to consider about a short commute (30 minutes or less)
- Less time on the road means more time at home, out in the yard, exercising, relaxing, or walking the dog.
- Less driving means less money spent on gas and car maintenance and repairs.
- Your auto insurance will be a little less if you commute less than 20 miles one way to your job.
- In the Triangle area living in an urban area means either a smaller yard or an older home. The more urban areas have higher priced housing so you will have to pay for that convenience.
- A shorter commute often means you live in a more urban area which has more choices for restaurants and breweries, city parks and greenways, more/faster options for services such as delivery services like DoorDash and Amazon same-day delivery, dog walkers, house cleaners, etc.
- The closer you live to the office, the more likely you will be “called in” when something is needed. It is the first option when the team knows one member lives 10 minutes from the office while the rest live 20-45 minutes away.
Thoughts to consider about a long commute (30 minutes or more)
If you want a larger lot and desire more peace and quiet, that will likely mean a longer commute to work. Balancing work and home life is important but here are some thoughts about longer commutes to consider:
- You may prefer a longer commute so you can have an opportunity to mentally unwind from the day of work. That way when you arrive at home, you are ready to give all your attention and focus to your family.
- If the long commute is on public transportation, you can use the time to catch up on email or to read for pleasure or work. Commuting on a bus or rideshare tends to be less stressful because you are not the driver.
- Many times a longer commute enables you to purchase a more affordable home. In this case, the longer commute time is worth it as a contribution to your overall financial picture.
- On the downside, the longer the commute, the more likely you are to be affected by traffic backups, road construction, or accidents.
- Any time you spend commuting is time you are not spending elsewhere.
What about your spouse or partner?
If both of you work, most couples assume they need to live in the geographic center so each spouse has an equally long commute. But keep in mind personal preferences. If one spouse doesn’t mind a long commute, but the other does, live closer to the workplace of the one who wants the shorter commute time.
What about students in your household?
Commute time affects students as well as workers. Commuting from home can make college affordable for those who would otherwise need to take out hefty loans to afford room and board. Thankfully, no matter where you live in the Triangle area there are loads of educational options close to home. Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the three Tier One universities in the area. There are at least 15 other colleges and universities plus a number of top-notch community colleges.
More flexible commute options help members of your household to go to soccer or baseball games, dance recitals, gymnastics practice, guitar lessons, etc.
Looking for the Perfect Commute? Unique commuting options in the Triangle:
If you are employed by Research Triangle Park, take part in the SmartCommute@RTP program. There are several initiatives for a variety of commuting options such as carpooling, biking to work, and bus service.
- GoTriangle has a list of Park and Ride locations throughout the area: https://gotriangle.org/park-and-ride
- The City of Raleigh has also come up with its own initiative for business owners called Commute Smart Raliegh.
- There are also ride share options in the Triangle: https://www.sharetheridenc.org/Public/Home.aspx
If you are moving to the Triangle area or within the Triangle area, you need a well-informed realtor to help you think through your commuting options in regards to choosing your new home. Amy Shair has lived and worked in the Triangle area for over 25 years so she knows first-hand the locations that can give you the commute that is right for you and your family. Contact her today.
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