How Long Will It Take Me To Get To Work?

Ashwin Honawar

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An increasing number of Americans are returning to offices in 2024 after nearly three years. Surely, lots of things appear new or different when we drive. Furthermore, the driving or commuting time between home and workplace also seems lesser in some cases but longer in a few instances.

In 2007, for instance, the average one-way commute time was more than 47 minutes. Thankfully, this figure almost halved in 2021. In 2023, an average American employee gets to work in about 26.8 minutes to 28.3 minutes, depending on the location and mode of transport used. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Energy released the figures that I’m quoting above.

Now, this might sound fairly good and reasonable. After all, there’s lots of traffic on the roads, and we drive carefully. Sometimes, we do motley chores while driving between work and home.

The Figure is Much Higher

If we multiply the median figure of 26.8 minutes by two, we get 53.6 minutes of commute daily- which is unavoidable since you would surely be returning home. Now, let’s say that an average American works five days a week. This means ten trips between home and office.

That works up to a whopping 268 minutes a week or 4.46 hours a week or some 231.93 hours every year spent by Americans commuting between office and home for five days a week.

Research shows that an American spends between $150 and $200 every month on gasoline. All drivers and motorists combined in the US spend $556 billion.

Maybe you’re wondering about the point of these statistics. Here’s the response. These statistics clearly prove that home-office-home commutes aren’t cheap. You’ve to spend considerable money on commutes, especially on gasoline. In all fairness, this is a justified expense since we need to commute.

Flipsides of Commutes

Flipsides of Commutes

Commutes do cost some money. However, long commutes are known to cause a lot of problems for both companies and employees. Here, I will list some of these flipsides of commutes.

  • Employees who commute usually arrive stressed at the workplace. It takes them some time to destress and start working to their fullest capacity. This can cause a loss of productivity to the employer.
  • Often, employees tend to arrive a bit later than office hours because of inevitable reasons such as road closures due to accidents, slow driving due to weather conditions or even failure of the employee’s car for some reason while driving to work.
  • Regardless of everything, it’s always the employer that loses in terms of lost productivity and stressed employees. That’s the reason thousands of employers continue hiring work-from-home staff.

At the same time, it is possible to trim the commute times if you’re interested. If that’s your case, continue reading. I will write about some of the amazing ways to cut your travel time between home and office and enjoy a lot of benefits, too.


Now, let’s start answering this question: How long will it take me to get to work? Here are the answers.

Reducing Time to Get to Work

These ways to lower the time to get to work are all time-tested and proven. Hence, you can use them easily. In fact, there are some ways to reduce time that will appeal to you instantly, too.

Here we go.

Find a Job Nearer Office

Find A Job Nearer Home

This is something most of us dream about. That’s finding a job near the office. Actually, it’s quite possible. I mean, the office wouldn’t most likely be near your place. But if you’re relocating for work, it’s possible to find a workplace that’s walkable distance from your home or just a very short drive away. If you don’t wish to leave home, look for businesses and organizations that offices nearby and apply for jobs.

Leave Early Morning

Leave Early Morning

Another tweak to cut commuting time between home and office is to leave home early. That way, you come across less traffic. Surely, you would have some spare time left that way. Try and find if there’s a gym or some other activity available nearby where you could spend the extra time till your workplace opens for the day.

Use Mass Transit

Use Mass Transit

Generally, mass transit such as metros and trains travel faster than cars. If you live in a place that has a good mass transit system, consider using these. For one, they will work out cheaper than buying gas for the home-office-home runs and secondly, you can save a lot of time and effort. Travelling mass transit is also less stressful than driving.

Work Evening Shifts

Work Evening Shifts

Understandably, this isn’t a very pleasant proposition for most. All of us love to have evenings free to spend time with family and friends, shopping and entertainment. However, if you’re one of these night birds that prefer working at night, you’re in some luck. Find night jobs and you will save a lot of time on traveling between home and workplace. That’s because traffic is lesser during the evening and mass transit trains and metros or even buses are relatively empty, though the frequency might be lower.

Use Bicycles, E-Bikes Etc.

Use Bicycles, E-Bikes Etc

The US is also concerned about the large usage of carbon fuels such as gasoline because a lot of it is imported, and processing isn’t cheap. Carbon fuels also pollute the atmosphere. Therefore, the Federal government and various states are offering some incentives to persons that will use the humble bicycle to go between home and workplace. The same is true for the new generation of electric bike users. In a lot of states, you will find special lanes for bicyclists and e-scooters or e-bike users. Since they’re no usually crowded, you can reach the workplace or home faster than with a car or even mass transit.

Wrap Up

I can’t comment on how much time you would save using various alternatives such as e-scooters, bicycles, mass transit and other ways. Yet, I can easily estimate these methods of transportation could save you some five to 10 minutes each way if not more. That depends on the distance between home and office. However, the other methods are efficient enough to reduce your commute time.

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