Could commute impact employee turnover?

Analyzing the specific factors that employees have to deal with every day may bring businesses more insight as to what they can do to lower turnover. One example of this was recently highlighted by an article in Human Resource Executive Online: commutes.

On the surface, the length of a commute might only have a superficial relationship with employee productivity, but because long commutes appear to be more common across the country, it’s an issue more and more HR professionals should take seriously.

A long commute doesn’t necessarily mean that employees will be less likely to stay for long term, since every businesses will be different. Assessing each employee’s personal situation and opinion could give administrators a better idea of what to do to accommodate the dominant commute trends.

A study from the Brookings Institution cited by this article looked at the general trends affecting commute distances for employees. According to its findings, the amount of jobs proximal to both suburban and urban areas declined between 2000 and 2012. Jobs within a “typical commute distance” in the major 96 American cities fell by 7 percent.

The authors of this study said that this decrease requires greater action to correct and help improve general employee/job proximity issues. They cite both “the positive effects that stem from proximity to jobs for communities and residents—from a healthier fiscal tax base, to improved services, to better employment outcomes—the broad trend toward decreases in the number of nearby jobs, and the disproportionately steep declines experienced by low-income and minority residents for whom proximity is particularly important,” as reasons for greater attention.

Prioritizing this as an area to look over, at least to determine whether or not the commute is motivating employees to leave, could follow after a company undertakes new HR software implementation.

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