What is a Reasonable Commute to Work?

what is a reasonable commute to work

How is My Commute Home

Even in today’s remote working world, not everyone can (or wants to) work from home, so most of us have to deal with some commute to work. But have you ever asked yourself, what is a reasonable commute to work?

There are several factors to consider when deciding about a potential job, with your overall commute being an important one. Here’s our take on what a reasonable commute to work is. 

Why Does the Length of the Commute Matter?

There are countless reasons why your overall commute time to and from work matters. It might mean you have to head out to work earlier than you normally would, maybe a portion of your paycheck goes to fixing your car, or you miss your kid’s evening soccer game because of the time it takes to get back home.

What is a Reasonable Commute to Work?

Generally speaking, we believe that driving (or riding) for anything less than 30 minutes is a reasonable commute time to work. 

That’s only an hour out of your day, giving you 15 hours to work outside of a typical 8-hour workday.

Any longer than that, you are starting to tread into a work/commute schedule that will eat into your everyday life and begin to take a toll on you.

How to decide if a specific commute is right for you

Look at the price-to-pay ratio

First and foremost, you must consider the amount you’re being paid against how much you spend fueling and maintaining your vehicle (or other transportation expenses).

Accepting a half-hour commute is a bad choice if you only make $12 an hour. By the time you calculate the amount of gas you have to buy each week, the higher frequency of tire replacements, oil changes, and other maintenance tasks, you’ll notice that you’re spending way more than you should to get to work. 

On the other hand, a job paying $35 an hour will pay for a half-hour or even an hour-long commute, which makes more sense. You can also lower your commuting costs by purchasing a vehicle with better mileage or asking for transportation assistance when they offer you the job. 

Look at how long your shifts are 

How long is your shift? If you have a 15-minute commute for a standard 8-hour shift, that’s just 8 ½ hours you spend on work (not including prep time such as getting dressed). However, if the commute is an hour long, you spend 10 hours at work. 

If you are only working part-time (half days), it’s even more important to calculate how long that total time on work (or driving to it) will be.

You have to make this personal choice based on how much you value your time, but we wouldn’t recommend traveling for more than half an hour for even a high-paying job. 

“The average one-way commute for Americans is 27.6 minutes. New York City, NY, has the longest average commute time in the U.S. at 34.7 minutes. Since 1980, the average American commute time has increased by 27% (From 21.7 minutes to 27.6 minutes). The average American commutes 41 miles a day to and from work.”

— Zippia

Wrapping Up | Work Commute

While remote work has become a more popular choice for employers today, many still have to head into the office, making this a tough decision you, as an employee, have to weigh out. 

It’s not as simple as saying, “I won’t accept more than a 15-minute commute”. Several factors must be considered, such as how much the job pays compared to fuel and maintenance or how long the shifts are once you arrive.

Ideally, you’ll want a job that gives you the best of both worlds, something that pays well, but you don’t have to travel far to get there. 

Start by taking stock of the opportunities in your local area and try to find a position that pays well enough to support the life you want while keeping your commute to a minimum.

We hope this helps and wish you the best of luck in finding that perfect job close to home!

Title: What is a reasonable commute time to work?

Category: Job Search

Tags: what is a reasonable commute to work, how is my commute to work, how is my commute home, what’s my drive time to work, acceptable distance to travel to work, drive time to work

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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