How does twenty minutes of additional commuting affect your day? A lot; says the UK Household Longitudinal Study. This government questionnaire, run from 2009-2016 concluded that an extra 20 minutes of commuting time each day drops worker satisfaction and is costs the employee money; a lot of money. In Los Angeles, twenty more minutes is a way of life.
But what happens when 20 extra minutes is your only option? I mean, really your only option. We’re talking about the length of a Los Angeles mile. Picture yourself on your five-mile commute in the suburb of a small city. In less than 20 minutes, you can make it to work. Now, picture yourself in Los Angeles. You are one mile from your job – one mile! It sounds like a dream come true. But it isn’t.
Kim Coe, Talener’s Director of Client Services spent two years in our Los Angeles office and couldn’t have been more surprised (and probably agitated) about what commuting in LA means. “I knew traffic was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for a rush-hour mile in LA.”
Just how long is an LA mile during rush hour? Depending on where you are, it can be 20 minutes or more, says Coe. And it is impacting current employees, employers, and potential employees.
Alex Klein, current Director in Los Angeles expresses the challenges he faces on a daily basis in Talener’s West LA office. These challenges come in the form of candidates not willing to commute one extra mile because it could increase their commute by an hour.
“Time and time again, candidates tell me that the LA traffic during rush hour just isn’t worth the job – even if it is their ideal position. The extra commuting costs (gas, maintenance & time) can easily add up to over ten thousand dollars a year,” Klein confirms. “Nearly every candidate I meet with provides specific areas to avoid during the job hunt. This limits opportunities that I may have for them, but I can’t say that I blame them.”
“When meeting with an applicant in New York, everyone was open to jobs located anywhere in Manhattan. In Los Angeles, applicants had selected areas where they wanted to work. And, had even more specific locations in which they wouldn’t even consider,” remembers Coe. “The commute time impacts every aspect of a candidate’s job hunt.”
“Factors like family, work-life balance, or convenience were at the top of their mind. Some wouldn’t even consider an interview if the drive to the interview was unbearable.”
Since public transportation lacks in routes and accessibility- flex hours are increasingly popular across several industries. Both Klein & Coe have seen an evolution in companies offering late arrival to avoid the rush.
“People in Los Angeles will take a job that they are less excited about or for less money because the commute is better,” tells Klein.
For those of us outside of the LA bubble, we may ask if this is any way to live? But for those in LA who enjoy sunny weather year-round, the beach, and the laid-back lifestyle – it is just home; traffic included.