Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Canadians Spending Too Much Time, Money Commuting

Workopolis encourages Canadians to show support for a National Work From Home Day

TORONTO, August 24, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Labour Day is less than two weeks away, and for Canadian workers, back to school and the return to 'regular' work means more cars on the road and more people commuting. According to a recent survey by Workopolis, the average Canadian worker is spending 42 minutes commuting to and from work from each day and $269 each month on associated costs working away from the home, with the largest cost being transportation at $146 per month. That's the equivalent of 182 hours each year and a cost of more than $3,000.

"We spend a lot of time and money getting to and from work each day - not to mention the environmental strain and stress that comes with commuting," said Kelly Dixon, President of Workopolis. "Today, working from home is a viable option for many. We need to continue to promote the benefits of telecommuting and encourage more flexible working arrangements for Canadian workers."

Just Getting to Work Can be Hard Work

Part of getting back into the daily routine of commuting can mean expecting public transit delays, busier stations and, of course, more traffic jams - all contributors of stress to the Canadian worker.

More common modes of commuting include:

...Two-thirds (69%) of workers commute by car on their own;

...One-in-five (19%) take public transit;

...One-in-ten (10%) carpool;

...12% walk ; and

...4% ride a bicycle

Commuting: By the Numbers

The latest Statistics Canada Census from 2006 reveals there are over 18 million people (over the age of 15) who are currently employed in Canada. More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadians polled said they commute by car on their own. That would equate to a savings of nearly $120 million for Canadian workers and more than 60 Kg of CO2 emissions if these workers were given the option to work from home for just one day a year.

Not surprising, the longest average commuters reside in provinces with Canada's most urban cities. Those in British Columbia and Ontario lead the way with an average commute time of 48 minutes each, while Atlantic Canadians and Quebecers spend the least amount of time commuting (31 and 34 minutes respectively).

Today, only four in ten (38 per cent) of Canadian workers work from home a few days per month even though many companies have the capability through emerging and secure technologies and practices to offer this as an option to their employees. Offering the option of working from home can also help to position a company as an employer of choice. In fact, seven in ten (68 per cent) of respondents indicated they have turned down a job prospect just to avoid a long commute.

"Grappling with gridlock is a terrible way to begin or wrap up any work day," said Dixon. "Offering Canadian workers the option to work from their own homes, even if it's just one day a year, would do wonders for our collective rush hour mentality."

"Found" Time

By working from home, Canadians are able to spend the time they would normally be commuting on doing the things they want such as spending time with family and friends. This is another one of the reasons that Workopolis is championing a National Work From Home Day with the goal of one day being recognized by the federal government.

The top five ways Canadians would prefer to spend their extra time are:

...Completing chores or housework - 83% (even higher for women at 86%)

...Spending time with family or friends - 79%

...Engaging in other recreational, hobby or leisure activities - 76%

...Preparing more nutritious meals - 74%

...Get more sleep - 71%

Interestingly, six in ten (58 per cent) said they would spend the extra time working more hours. This number is even higher for those Canadians who are already working from home some of the time (73 per cent).

To show support for a National Work From Home Day Canadians are encouraged to join the 77,000 people who have pledged their support on Facebook at You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @workopolis and using the hashtag #WFHD.

About the Research

The Environics Research Group study results were collected through a custom, online survey between April 5-13th, 2011. This included a sample size of 1001 Canadian workers. The Environics Research National Omnibus Survey was conducted between April 12-17th, 2011. This included a sample of 1000 Canadians 18 years and over. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20.

About Workopolis

Workopolis is Canada's leading careers and employment website, connecting the country's largest pool of candidates and employers online. Workopolis' fully-bilingual suite of services allows recruiters to post jobs, search resumes and manage their hiring needs. Candidates can post their resumes, search and apply for jobs and manage their careers online.

Canadian owned and operated, Workopolis has grown to 200 staff members across Canada since 2000. Workopolis is in an equal partnership with Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Square Victoria Digital Properties Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

Workopolis was chosen as the first organization to be given the Best Emerging Organization distinction as part of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures program and was a recipient of the 2010 50 Most Engaged Workplaces award.

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