Everyone wants to find the ‘sweet spot’ of work-life balance. And there are many disruptors we all experience while trying to avoid. A good place to start just may be making some changes in how much time you spend on your morning commute.
Patrick Durkin, Melbourne bureau chief and Boss deputy editor for the Australian Financial Review, has written on the issue of the increasing time for one’s morning commute. Citing data from the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, Durkin noted, “Workers in capital cities are now spending more than an hour a day travelling to and from work, with commute times blowing out 23 per cent over the past 15 years”, with commuters in Sydney now averaging 71 minutes per day of travel to and from work.
While reading his article (which is behind a paywall, sorry), I understood exactly what he meant when he wrote, “the long travel times, particularly for those travelling more than two hours a day, are pushing workers to the brink and flowing over to frustration about pay, working hours and work-life balance”. This insight drove me to set work-life balance as the topic of conversation for next event.
The list of consequences is quite saddening. Here is just a small sample:
- Men are more likely to have longer commutes than women, being particularly hard for those with dependent children
- at least one partner of dual-income couples experiences high levels of conflict
- with the employment rate for women hitting a record high of 71 per cent, working mothers are working more hours
- parents experience difficulty using or thinking about the cost of childcare
“You do what you gotta do”, as the saying goes, but doing so has consequences. The pressures are real; finding balance in work and in life is not easy. Let’s commiserate with one another and maybe even find some solutions together.