Is Commuting the Next Health Care?

Is Commuting the Next Health Care?

Christina Dunn Seru

Employees and businesses focus on health care as the No. 1 benefit in any benefits package. But a new trend is making people rethink a lot of things about jobs and benefits: Longer commutes. It’s making some people wonder if commuting is the next health care in terms of how it impacts the job market.

LinkedIn reports that 85 percent of people would take a pay cut to shorten their commutes.

That startling statistic makes sense when you consider the average American commute time is now 26.9 minutes, up from 21 minutes in 1980, according to the Census Bureau.

One solution: Carpooling

The HR website TLNT featured a guest column from Gina Lau, where she argued what’s happening with commuting is similar to when businesses started offering subsidized health care packages in the 1940s.

Lau, the Director of People Operation at Scoop, the largest solution in the country, suggests businesses re-thinking how commutes are impacting workers’ lives and the effect on business.

She advocated a push for more which is a great idea. Along with commuter benefits an excellent way to help subsidize the emotional and monetary cost of commuting for employees.

Commuter benefits

Commuter benefits allow employees to save up to 40 percent in transportation costs. The benefit can be applied to public transit, rideshares (Uber and Lyft), and qualified paid parking.

Business owners also save by offering employee benefits. Since employees save money tax-free in their paychecks, business owners see reduced payroll taxes. The maximum reduction is 7.65 percent.

Commuting may be the new health care as the average commute continues to rise. Commuter benefits a great way to make it easier for employees and save everyone money.

Christina Dunn-Seru is the Human Resources Manager for Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions. Christina’s expertise includes talent management and recruiting, organizational development, training and development and leadership and management coaching.  Christina is passionate about helping the organization retain and attract top talent as well as performance management for the organization.  Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Providence College in addition to a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Northeastern University. Additionally, Christina also periodically collaborates with the Commuter Benefit Solutions blog.

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