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The Temporal Cost of the Commute

From Shadow Work, by Craig Lambert, loc 198:

Commuting—the job of getting to the job—is an unpaid task done to serve the employer. It has become so woven into American life that we scarcely recognize it for what it is. Yet commuting is very expensive, time-consuming shadow work. The commuter must either brave crowded public transportation, or own, insure, maintain, and fuel a car—and drive it—just to make the round-trip from home to workplace. In 2005, ABC News reported that the average American commuter travels sixteen miles, one-way, to work. At current federal auto mileage reimbursement rates of 55 cents per mile, that thirty-two-mile round-trip costs $ 17.60 daily, or $ 88 per week and $ 4,400 per year. The average daily commute takes fifty-two minutes both ways, or about 217 hours per year—more than five forty-hour weeks of unpaid travel time. Jobs that allow employees to work from home save them thousands of dollars annually and also free up untold hours now spent on the road—time you might devote to, well, productive work.

Categories: Cognitive Triage: Practice, Culture and Strategies The Intensification of Work

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