Ditching Your Commute Is the Happiness Equivalent of a $40,000 Raise

  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Jan 26, 2015 5:13 AM GMT
    Ditching Your Commute Is the Happiness Equivalent of a $40,000 Raise


    http://lifehacker.com/ditching-your-commute-is-the-happiness-equivalent-of-a-1679698849


    How To 'Thrive': Short Commutes, More Happy Hours

    http://www.npr.org/2011/10/19/141514467/small-changes-can-help-you-thrive-happily
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 26, 2015 5:24 AM GMT
    Short commute here icon_wink.gif and would never take a regular job that has me driving for more than 40 min.
  • Kovyn

    Posts: 117

    Jan 26, 2015 7:14 AM GMT
    I fly to work so I'm calling bullshit on that article.
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    Jan 26, 2015 7:15 AM GMT
    Just the time savings is probably worth that .
    I've had several commutes that were ten minute walks or bike rides. That seemed just about right.
    Now I've got a 50-foot walk from the breakfast table to the office. So there is the danger of spending too much time on my ass.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 26, 2015 4:46 PM GMT
    Before owning, I'd move very near my work whenever my job changed. On first owning, I bought near my office so my commute was negligible. Even with that, office politics got so unbearable (not involving me and I was one of only two of us with a door and actual office but I still couldn't stand the atmosphere between the other people there) that I took to working out of the house. So my commute went from negligible to practically zero. Though before lap tops I'd come in after hours--way after rush hour--to input my work onto the computer in my office. And eventually after getting better tech and VPN at home, I only used my office for meetings and storage.

    Which pissed the cubicle people off even more because I refused to give up my door to any one of them even though I hardly used it. But they were so horrible to each other that on the few times I was in the office with them there, I'd just quickly close my door. It was like realjock in realtime. My door was my ignore click.

    But even working out of the house, for a while my commute got a little wild when the organization reorganized and my territory expanded such that I was taking small planes to cross the state. Very little traffic up there though so the commute was tolerable, actually kind of fun.

    Down in the Caribbean when I was a kid, for a while the ol'man used to commute between islands by seaplane. Only he was afraid of flying. He did a lot of drinking back then.

    But I never did understand people driving for an hour or more each way every day just to get to work. I guess I could understand it if you had kids you wanted in a better school system than what was available closer to work. But I'd just shoot myself.
  • NeuralShock

    Posts: 411

    Jan 26, 2015 5:30 PM GMT
    I honestly am pretty sure the clincial psychological literature strongly, very strongly, suggests that even if a person wins the lottery their happiness level will spike for a short duration and then return to it's previous state after a while.

    So to me this seems like something that would seem amazing to someone who has had a long commute for a long time, then reduces their commute and YAY that seems great! ... Until they get used to it and it becomes the norm, then their mood just adjusts back "automatically" to it's prior base level.

    Plus I feel that trying to quantify the "value" is incredibly unrealistic. It is trying to pin down something that cannot be pinned. :/

    Not that I am trying to flame or insult anyone, but reader beware.
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    Jan 26, 2015 5:57 PM GMT
    Now if only jobs locally paid ONLY $40K less than city jobs.

    More like $140K.

    Which is why people endure it.

    My local Waldbaums has a cashier who must be in her 70s. She commutes every day to the city to work for her travel group, then nights to ring up and bag because her husband didn't retire with a pension and their property taxes are $20,000. She's never taken a vacation because if she took more than a few days off she feels despite 37 years with Waldbaums she'd be replaced.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Jan 26, 2015 7:06 PM GMT
    It can be hard to avoid a long commute. Once I bought a house in a location to minimize driving, but only about two years later, I had to change employers. Sometimes employers move.
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    Jan 26, 2015 8:14 PM GMT
    your bad not to locate your self in a central area that has decent access to many parts of the suburbs. If your employ moves you dont get stuck with a hour drive in rush hour traffic.

    work at home VPN has never caught on. Why this is i dont know.

    at least in Colorado many tech companies will NOT locate down town.


    Even if you live work in the city a car is necessary. Businesses; CostCo, super markets, 24hour fitness have a phucked business model that requires them to locate next to a mall. Even tho N America has not built a new mall since 2006. http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=86410
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 26, 2015 8:53 PM GMT
    I can understand this. Thankfully, I have always consciously positioned by residence to minimize commute time (it's my highest priority, even above space, quality of residence, neighborhood, etc). My commutes were:

    South Bend, IN: To school, lived on campus, 5 minute walk
    Durham, NC: To school, 12 minute drive
    Philly, PN: To work, 8 minute walk
    Miami, FL: To work, 20 minute bus, 12 minute car
    NYC, NY: To work, 20 minute subway, 20 to 40 minute taxi. From 78th Street to 41st Street, 1 subway car w/ no transfer, literally only 2 miles (NYC blocks are "half" blocks).

    I've NEVER had a really long commute. I can't imagine what people in LA, Houston, Chicago and various "burbs" put up with. I'd be interested to hear if "long commuters" agree with the 40K suggestion. And if so, what keeps them living so far away? All I know is, I can't deal with a commute longer than about 20 minutes on average or I get REALLY annoyed. That's 40 minutes roundtrip. That adds up to hundreds of hours annually!
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    Jan 26, 2015 9:01 PM GMT
    i rode a r1 sportbike and a long commute was functional on warm days. it totally removed frustration as other traffic could be considered near stationary objects. I had to sell it tho.
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    Jan 26, 2015 10:23 PM GMT
    eagermuscle saidNow if only jobs locally paid ONLY $40K less than city jobs.

    More like $140K.

    Which is why people endure it.

    My local Waldbaums has a cashier who must be in her 70s. She commutes every day to the city to work for her travel group, then nights to ring up and bag because her husband didn't retire with a pension and their property taxes are $20,000. She's never taken a vacation because if she took more than a few days off she feels despite 37 years with Waldbaums she'd be replaced.


    Aww, bless. Why not write to the CEO of Waldbaums suggesting they give her and her husband an expenses-paid vacation in recognition of her years of dedicated service?
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    Jan 27, 2015 12:48 AM GMT
    I'm thankful to have a 10-minute commute to work living in LA. It's been 14 years and I don't plan on leaving.
  • highforthis

    Posts: 681

    Jan 27, 2015 12:55 AM GMT
    I live in a hipster area 15 min walk to work. A bit too long for those winter days, but too short to use transit. First world problems, yea icon_cool.gif
  • highforthis

    Posts: 681

    Jan 27, 2015 1:25 AM GMT
    Have you tried riding a bike in Toronto in winter??
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 27, 2015 2:07 AM GMT
    highforthis saidHave you tried riding a bike in Toronto in winter??


    Snow chains icon_cool.gif
  • highforthis

    Posts: 681

    Jan 27, 2015 2:17 AM GMT
    True, but it's quite a task to bundle up to protect your face while wearing less than you would if just walking, due to the body heat from exertion, so it always has to be well planned. We haven't had a big snow yet so the ground is still dry, but after we get what's left of the NYC storm, I'm hanging up my bike for the next 3 months.
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    Jan 27, 2015 3:59 AM GMT
    My commute is a 20 - 25 minute walk. May reconsider walking when June, July, August, and September roll around.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 27, 2015 4:42 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidMy commute is a 20 - 25 minute walk. May reconsider walking when June, July, August, and September roll around.


    If you're in NOLA, the humidity can be a killer in conjunction with the heat during those summer months. I'd certainly reconsider walking. Literally, you'd arrive drenched with back seat, arm pit sweat, and facial sweat. Even walking slowly. If time wasn't a factor, I'd skip the taxi my South Beach to Miami commute and take the bus. Just walking 1 block to the bus stop, waiting a couple minutes, and then walking a couple blocks from the bus stop to my office was a KILLER in June/July/August. And we had a "business casual" dress code if we didn't have a client meeting or court hearing. Sweaty nonetheless.

    tumblr_mo3g79RG1V1sq66pvo4_500.gif
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    Jan 27, 2015 4:00 PM GMT
    Where and WTF is NOLA?!?!?
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 27, 2015 4:57 PM GMT
    manboynyc saidWhere and WTF is NOLA?!?!?


    It's the "Mardi Gras" place. Katrina epicenter of suffering a la the levees. New Orleans, LA. Or NOLA. It's a legit thing. Everyone down there calls it NOLA or Or-leans.