Learning & Development

The Challenge of Super Commuting

In a previous post, we discussed the rise of super-commuting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because many workers used their newfound ability to work remotely to relocate farther from their home offices, they accepted the possibility that they will eventually have to commute from their new place of residence. But just because an employee is willing to make super-commuting work doesn’t mean it always does work.

super commuting

There are a number of challenges this practice can create for both employee and employer.

Time Commitment

Obviously, super-commuting typically takes more time than a traditional commute and far more time than the commute virtual workers have between bedroom and home office. This means an employee’s day can be significantly lengthened by the trip to and from the office, and this is often time that can’t be spent working.

Limited Availability

The time it takes for super-commuters to get to and from the office impacts their availability in a couple of ways. First, super-commuters typically spend fewer days in the office than employees with shorter commutes. Instead of coming in every day of the week, they may come in only 1 or 2 days a week or month. Second, it’s more difficult for super-commuters to make it to the office on short notice in the event of a critical need.

Increased Likelihood of Stress and Burnout

Even workers anxious to get back into the office after roughly 2 years of remote work will generally admit they’ve enjoyed eliminating their daily commutes. Fighting traffic, time crunches, and just the extra time it adds to one’s day to get ready and commute to the office are daily burdens. Super-commuters face greater strains getting to and from the office than most, and this can wear on workers over time, contributing to increased stress and burnout.

The transition back to the physical office after roughly 2 years of remote work has resulted in many relocated workers’ considering the prospect of super-commuting. However, while long commutes may allow the continuation of updated living situations, they can pose challenges for employees and employers alike.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.