NEW YORK — For many working Americans, just arriving at work on time can be a stressful experience. A new survey of 2,000 Americans who regularly commute to work via car finds that a full third of respondents usually feel agitated or stressed before even arriving at the office.
While some are better off than others, it’s common for millions of commuters to spend upwards of an hour or more on their daily trek to and from the office. In fact, the average surveyed commuter will spend over five full days driving back and forth to work during a calendar year. Over the course of a month, that works out to 580 minutes in the car.
The survey, which was commissioned by Batteries Plus Bulbs, also found that 27% of Americans make a habit of complaining about their daily commute. The majority of respondents (76%) said they feel guilty whenever they are even just a few minutes late for work in the morning. Interestingly, it seems much of that guilt is caused by a lack of understanding by management; one in four said they’ve been conditioned to believe commuting issues aren’t a valid reason to arrive late, and slightly more (26%) reported that their managers aren’t sympathetic towards commuting woes.
According to respondents, most are considered “late” by their employers if they miss the beginning of their shift by six minutes. An additional 48% said they admonish themselves for being late if they arrive even a minute after their scheduled start time.
Survey participants were also asked about the most common problems they encounter during their work commute, and the top answer was traffic (76%), followed by a flat tire (54%) and a dead car battery (54%). The top five responses were rounded out by “car emergencies” (27%) and lost car keys (25%).
It’s plain to see that all of those problems involve automobiles. As such, many respondents (22%) have considered trying out a different means of getting to the office each day. The number one reason given for thinking about switching commuting habits was less stress (38%). Other common answers included more relaxation (33%), avoiding flat tires (33%), and avoiding dead car batteries (32%).
Another third said they wish they could depend more on their car.
On average, respondents said they would need an extra $17,076.59 in order to make sure their commutes always went smoothly.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.