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The Toronto commute: what a nightmare

What I’m about to tell you does not sound pretty.

Especially for our friends in Toronto.

Brace yourself.

In a Star story this morning, we learned that Torontonians will have 32 minutes added to their already-lengthy commute to work over the next 25 years if Metrolinx’s Big Move regional transportation plan doesn’t come to fruition.

32? Ugh.Freeway traffic jam

The average commute in Toronto is already 80 minutes, according to CivicAction, a civic leadership group trying to rally support for taxes dedicated to transit expansion.

Taxes? Eesh. Don’t we have a better solution, telecommuters?

When the Star story tells us traffic jams and other commuting obstacles are estimated to “cost about $6 billion annually in lost productivity,” we smile, knowing we have traded the rails and roads for the morning plod in our slippers to our home office or laptop precariously balanced on our knees while we sip home-brewed coffee and give our canine and feline pals a scritch-a-scratch behind the ears.

Hell’s bells, recently released its annual report on telecommuting statistics and estimates that a typical business can save $11,000 per person per year by allowing full-time telecommuting.

And the telecommuters themselves can save between $2,000 and $7,000 per year in transportation costs.

CivicAction has started a “32 campaign” on its website, asking guests to reveal what they would do with those 32 minutes that are looming on their commute.

And their responses?

✔ 42 per cent would spend more time with family and friends
✔ 32 per cent would live a healthier lifestyle
✔ 17 per cent would get more sleep
✔ Six per cent would devote more time to their pets
✔ Three per cent would spend more time on hobbies

Now I don’t know about my teleworking friends but remote work does let me spend more time with my dog, more time working out and riding my bike, and more time sleeping.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones.

We probably should bear in mind that the statistics are U.S. generated but the theory is no less applicable to the Canadian corporate environment that needs to embrace telecommuting. It will alleviate pressure on aging transportation infrastructure, save corporations and individuals money and, of course, increase employee engagement and productivity.

What are we waiting for?

Start incorporating telecommuting into your business strategy. And don’t forget the tools that help you accomplish it: conference calling and web conferencing.

Posted in Observations & Answers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Comment

  1. Tyrone
    Posted 2014/05/23 at 17:41 | Permalink

    This kind of commuting would definitely increase, unless some drastic actions take place.
    Start incorporating telecommuting into your business strategy.

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