How Long Of A Commute Is Too Long? Major Factors

Written By Aleena

How long of a commute is too long? Your job, lifestyle, and personal preferences determine how long you are willing to travel for work.

What will I learn?

The commute is an important factor to consider when looking for a job. In the past, it may have been common to travel more than an hour each way for work.

How Long Of A Commute Is Too Long

In today’s world, commuting more than an hour is not ideal. First and foremost, commuting can be stressful and time-consuming. It can also lead to physical and mental health issues.

Research shows excessive commuting can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression.

There are many factors on to base the “too long” question:

1. Time & Energy:

Firstly, is the commute taking too much of your time and energy? Commuting that takes more than an hour each way can be draining.

Commuting - How Long Of A Commute Is Too Long

It can leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day. It can limit your free time to pursue hobbies or spend with family.

2. Cost:

Secondly, is the commute too expensive? Are you paying for public transportation or fuel costs that are out of proportion with your salary?

It could be a sign that your commute is too long. Also, considering a job requiring long commutes, consider all the associated costs.

Some associated costs may take time to be apparent but can add up. Examples include parking fees, tolls, and additional maintenance for your vehicle.

3. Effect on Mental Health:

Finally, how is the commute affecting your mental health? People with long commutes are more likely to suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety.

The monotony of a long commute can also lead to decreased job satisfaction. Therefore, it’s important to consider how the commute impacts your mental well-being.

4. Quality Of Life:

Will this job interfere with your ability to spend time with family and friends or enjoy hobbies?

Will it prevent you from getting enough sleep or limit your exercise routine?

Ultimately, it’s too long if the commute causes a major disruption in your life.

Remember that commuting takes away from leisure time. It can lead to increased fatigue.

The longer the commute, the more likely you’ll be exhausted when you get home. This can take a toll on your mental and physical health.

Is Commute Time Reasonable?

When you consider the time it takes to commute, a few factors could help determine if it’s reasonable or not.

1. Your Budget:

Your budget determines how much you are willing to spend on commuting. This includes gas, public transportation costs, tolls, and parking fees.

Budget - How Long Of A Commute Is Too Long

For instance, you live in a rural area. You may have to spend more money on gas and car maintenance than someone who lives closer to their job.

With long commutes, those costs can add up quickly. Living an hour away from your job might cost you $100 to $150 per month in gas and car expenses.

Or, living in an urban area, you can get by with a bus pass and other public transportation costs.

2. Your Time:

How much of your day are you willing to spend commuting? If your job is an hour away or further, you’re already spending a good chunk of your time just getting there and back.

Depending on traffic, this could be even longer. Long commutes can take away from time spent with family, friends, or yourself.

With a long commute, you might have less time for hobbies or other activities.

And when you’re already overworked and exhausted, a long commute can push you even further.

3. The Location:

If you’re commuting to an unfamiliar area, it could cause a lot of stress. You might need to be more comfortable driving in the dark or through unfamiliar areas.

You may also need help finding places like gas stations and bathrooms along the way.

And if your car breaks down, you could be even more stranded. So when considering a long commute, make sure you take into account the location.

And see how safe and comfortable it will be for you. The location can be a major factor in how long a commute is too long.

4. Your Job:

It can make a long commute more bearable if you love your job. But if you feel you need to be more passionate about what you do or are unsatisfied with the role, it could take its toll on your mental health.

It would be best to consider how much money you’ll be making. And determine if that would balance out the extra time you’d be spending on your commute.

Some employers even offer incentives for employees who travel long distances. For instance, they give financial compensation or additional vacation time.

5. The Traffic:

Living in a city with terrible traffic can make a long commute unbearable. Are you usually stuck on the road for hours and arrive home exhausted?

It may be time to consider another job closer to your current location. Because too much traffic means too long commute.

If you’re considering relocating, research the average traffic times during the morning and evening.

Be sure to factor in the traffic before taking on a job with excessive commute times.

Also, consider the cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.

6. The Transport:

Do you have to switch between multiple buses or trains? This can add time to your commute and make it extra stressful.


Consider looking into other options if this is the case. For example, you can carpool with coworkers or use ride-share services like Uber or Lyft.

These are all great alternatives to traditional public transport. And can make the commute to work much easier.

So these are some of the things to consider before committing to a job with an excessive commute.

How To Reduce Commute?

If the commute is too long, consider ways to minimize it.

1. Housing Closer To Work:

One of the best ways to reduce commute is to live closer to work. If you move closer, it could drastically reduce your commute time. In addition, it can make it more manageable.

Also, you can find cheaper housing if you’re willing to live a bit further out.

Some companies even provide housing for their employees closer to the office. With this option, you can save time and money.

To choose a suitable living place, look at the public transportation options available. And make sure it is close to necessary amenities like grocery stores, hospitals, etc.

2. Telecommuting:

Another great option is telecommuting. Many companies are offering flexible work hours. They are allowing people to work remotely. It can reduce or eliminate commuting altogether.

With telecommuting, you can work from home or any other place that is convenient for you. This way, you won’t have to battle traffic and long commute time.

While it’s great to work from home and save time, some potential downsides exist.

You may feel isolated from your co-workers. There can be a lack of collaboration if you don’t have face-to-face meetings.

Therefore, it’s important to maintain communication channels with your team while working remotely.

3. Public Transportation:

Are you living in an area with public transportation? You can take public transportation if the metro or train service is available.

Reduce commute cost.

This will save time and reduce the stress of driving during rush hour. Public transportation allows you to relax and enjoy your ride rather than focus on the road.

And some companies even offer their employees discounted or free public transportation passes. So it’s worth checking with your employer to see if such a program is available.

Also, when using public transportation, remember to maintain social distancing. And wear a face mask.

4. Carpooling:

Carpooling is another way to reduce commuting time. You can save money on gas and parking fees. You can partner up with a colleague, neighbor, or friend and take turns driving.

This allows you to share the costs and responsibilities of getting to work every day. Plus, it’s an excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint.

Some employers also provide carpooling incentives to encourage their employees to share rides.

However, if you’re carpooling, make sure to take safety precautions. And follow the rules of the road.

5. Roads With Lesser Traffic:

It’s often possible to find a route with less traffic. You may have to leave earlier or later than you usually do.

But it can help you make better use of your time while avoiding the stress of driving in congested areas.

Use apps like Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps. They are another way to check traffic conditions or take alternate routes.

Some routes may take longer, but they can help you save time and frustration.

6. Yielding To Other Drivers:

When you’re commuting, make sure to yield to other drivers. Don’t try to cut someone off or race them to a destination.

Instead, stay calm and be patient. Respect the rules of the road and be courteous while driving.

Also, remember to check your speed. Speeding is a major cause of accidents and can lead to serious consequences.


And some last tips:

7. Reduce Stress While Driving:

Try to relax while you’re driving. For example, listen to calming music or take some deep breaths. It can help reduce stress and make the drive more enjoyable.

Planning your route ahead of time can save you a lot of time and stress. Check real-time traffic updates and alternative routes.

This way, you can make the best decision on how to get to your destination.

Suppose you’re planning a long commute, taking breaks while driving is important. Stopping for food or coffee and stretching your legs can keep you alert and focused.

Regular breaks will also help reduce the risk of fatigue and make the drive more bearable.

Finally, try to stay positive throughout your commute. Thinking positively can help reduce stress and make the journey less daunting.


It’s up to each individual to determine how long a commute is too long. Everyone has different limits.

They must decide what type of sacrifice they will make for their job. Longer commutes mean better salaries and more opportunities.

But remember that your health and well-being should always be a priority. Consider the time and energy you’ll have for yourself, family, friends, and hobbies.

Finding a balance between work and leisure works best for you is possible.

Last Updated on 4 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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