Commute Makes Some Workers “Sick”

April 25, 2011 ( - A new survey reveals that more than 5,000,000 employed American adults have called in to work sick to avoid their commute.

The survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated found 4% of adults who commute to work said they have called in sick to work because they couldn’t face their commute. Nearly half (48%) of respondents indicated that commuting has a significant impact on job satisfaction, and 32% said they took the commute into consideration when they chose their current job.   

According to a press release, 15% said they would change jobs to shorten their commute, and 11% feel their commute negatively impacts their work-life balance.   

If they didn’t have to spend time commuting, 50% of workers said they would sleep later. Forty-two percent said they would relax; 33% said they would spend time with family; and 28% said they would exercise.  

The survey found 45% of adults who commute to work spend less than 30 minutes; 32% spend 30-59 minutes; and 16% spend one to less than two hours. Seven percent of adults who commute to work said their longest commute clocked in at five hours or more; 30% said it was more than two hours; and 31% said it was one to less than two hours.   

Few adults who commute to work (6%) are paid for the time they spend commuting. The press release said only 14% of adults who commute to work have the option of working from home, but among those who don’t have this option, 27% said they feel that given the necessary technology, they could do so effectively.  

The “Road Wage” survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos within the U.S. between March 2 and 4, 2011, among 2,042 adults (ages 18 and over), of whom 1,077 commute to work.