Why commute in the age of the internet?
In England, one in seven commuters spend two hours or more each day travelling to and from work. This results in a startling compromise to their work life balance. A similar pattern is being experienced by many Irish workers. WDC research on commuting in the Western Region of Ireland indicates that people’s journey times have become longer, most noteworthy, travelling on congested routes into Galway city.
Monster, a leading global employment solutions company has researched some of the reasons why a long commute may not be good for you. The reasons include compromises to mental and physical health, together with financial and opportunity cost. Consequently, long commutes make people unhappy. This sad reality does not need to be the fate of office workers. Work life balance can change completely when investments are made into the internet capacity of local towns. Entrepreneurs are able to provide a much better work environment for their employees, without the compromises of the long commute.
What could you do with an extra 2 hours every day?
Spend more time with friends and family, or take up a new hobby. Gaining an extra two hours per day enables you to do a lot of fishing, horse riding, golf and cycling. It definitely beats sitting in the car for hours on end. Why not enjoy more meals out, or learn to fly, whatever ignites your passion. You can certainly afford it, now that you are saving more than €150 per week which you were spending on all that unnecessary commuting.
A one hour commute morning and evening costs more than €7,000 each year (based on the additional operating costs for a 60 km commute in an average size vehicle. This cost does not include fixed costs such as insurance, tax and depreciation). That is €7,000 each year which commuters will have in their pocket for living the life or paying off their mortgage in half the time. A mortgage which has 20 years remaining today, would be paid off in just over 10 years from now with the money saved. (ie paying €150 per week against a €170,000 mortgage at 5% apr).
Small towns are at the cusp of a technologically driven revolution. The internet is creating an environment where it is no longer necessary to commute into the big city to access high quality ethernet. Publicly owned internet infrastructure is luring jobs back to smaller towns. Savvy managers see the benefits of offering their staff a shorter commute to work, to say nothing of the much lower cost base for their company. A stress free lifestyle results in greater productivity in the workplace, hence a win win situation for employee and employer.
With the internet capacity and connection speeds of the big city, employees can teleconference with locations as diverse as New York and Nanjing, Minneapolis, Manchester or Milan, and upload large data in real time. The critical thing needed in a modern office is super fast fibre ethernet with resilience. The disruptive technology which has globalised the supply chain is about to deliver an equally disruptive change in favour of local economies, as employment returns to those towns which have big internet capacity. Why commute in the age of the internet?
The answer is you no longer need to.