CHICAGO—Employees may have more than heavy traffic to contend with on their way to work. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 58 percent of workers who drive to the job site admit they sometimes experience road rage while traveling to and from the office. Another 9 percent have gotten into a fight with another commuter while on the road.
A virtual office could help workers avoid road rage by slashing the stressful commutes. Taking into account that 83 percent of participants in the CareerBuilder survey say they typically drive to work—and 12 percent reported taking a job with a longer commute during or post-recession—it’s easy to see how allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office at least one day a week could reduce the stress.
According to the survey, incidents of road rage are more prevalent among those with lengthy commutes. But that doesn’t mean workers with short trips to their jobs are immune to road rage. In fact, 37 percent of workers with commutes of less than five minutes said they experience road rage from time to time. The same goes for 54 percent of workers with commutes of less than 10 minutes. Telecommuting from a virtual office at least part time can give employees a break from the maddening traffic.
How do men and women compare on the road rage front? The survey reveals women were more apt to feel road age—61 percent compared to 56 percent of men. In terms of age groups, workers ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to experience road at 68 percent while workers 55 and older were the least likely to experience it at 47 percent.
“Road rage is most often associated with running late and far commutes,” says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Planning ahead and taking advantage of flexible work arrangements can help alleviate stress levels and set a more positive vibe for the workday.”
Haefner hit the nail on the head when she mentioned flexible work arrangements, which may include virtual offices. Here are some of her recommendations for a calmer commute.
1. Give yourself extra time. Set out clothes and prepare lunches the night before. Set your alarm 15 minutes early to allow for any minor setbacks that can happen in a busy household.
2. Request flexible work arrangements. See if you can start work at an off-peak time to avoid rush hour or explore whether telecommuting may be an option. You can also ask about working in a virtual office one day a week.
3. Try easy listening. Whether it means soothing music, books on tape or your favorite morning news program, listen to something that can help you forget the hour-long delay you just encountered.
4. Consider public transportation. Taking a bus or train can free you to finish up work, read or just relax.