Employment trends expert discusses new research and how it could apply to American employees
Research has shown that the American commute keeps getting longer and longer, with the average worker now traveling 26 minutes to get to their place of employment. No wonder a new survey has found that American workers now say that they should be considered ‘on the clock’ when they are commuting, and that their pay should reflect the time they spend traveling to and from work.
“According to this new research, when Wi-Fi is available to commuters who are traveling by bus or train, these employees use their devices to accomplish work tasks and prepare for their work day,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm. “As a Chicagoan, I have seen this firsthand, as many hard-working individuals taking the El, the Metra or the bus often log-in and start accomplishing work tasks before they even set foot in the office.”
However, the question is, should employees be compensated for this time they spend working while in transit?
“There are many things we need to consider when it comes to this discussion,” says Wilson. “Is the employee hourly or salary? Is their work being monitored? Will employers be able to verify that work duties are completed during a commute? Is there a higher risk of errors or miscommunications when a person is working on a crowded, bustling train as opposed to sitting quietly in their cubicle? And, if the employee is hourly, what potential impact would compensation present to overtime?”
Wilson says we also need to consider the changing landscape of employment as it relates to technology and remote employees.
“As many job tasks can be accomplished with nothing more than an internet connection and a smartphone or laptop, and as more employees are working remotely, it is not far-fetched to assume that an employee can complete valuable and timely job functions while sitting on the train,” says the employment expert.
However, financial compensation might not be the only benefit to consider.
“If an employee works remotely on the train and thus finishes their tasks early for the day, perhaps it would be beneficial to consider letting workers have flexible schedules,” says Wilson. “In essence, you will be paying employees with more free time, rather than higher pay.”
For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.