When we started WorkHere there was very little research on the effect of long commutes on employment. Our research found very few HR exit studies even included commute as a reason for an employee to quit their job. Much of the best research came from public policy groups and public transportation advocacy groups.
Today staffing giant Robert Half just released a survey that found that:
23% of workers have quit their job over commute.
— Robert Half Survey
We’ve known that commutes and geography are critical in reducing turnover. One WorkHere customer that operates 87 retail stores found that 85% or employees with over 5 years tenure lived within 5 miles of work. As we’ve worked with almost 100 additional companies, we’ve seen similar numbers from almost every one.
We also know that long commutes are expensive. We even put a tool online to help workers understand the impact of commute distance on their financial life. It’s shocking how much money a long commute costs.
Commutes are a big deal to millennials. The Robert Half study also found that younger workers were more likely to be sensitive to commute times:
Part of this may be the higher cost of car ownership, and part may be a generational lifestyle preference. Regardless, if you care about reducing turnover, trying to hire people who live closer to work may cut your turnover as much as 50%.
By the way, WorkHere is built to find candidates that live closer to work.