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The Commuting Conundrum: How Much is Your Daily Commute Really Costing You?

EdgeRed x Google Map API x Python

Do you know how much time and money you're spending on your daily commute? If you're one of the 31% of people in NSW who have been working from home since the pandemic hit, then you might have forgotten what it's like to spend hours each week sitting in traffic or crammed into a train carriage. But with more and more businesses considering bringing employees back into the office, it's time to take a closer look at the true cost of commuting.

EdgeRed: Google Maps & Geospatial Analysis

Let's start with time. Using data from Google Maps API and geospatial analysis, we've calculated that the average Sydney-sider spends a whopping 108 minutes per day commuting to and from work on public transport. That's 18 whole days each year spent traveling to and from the office. And that's not even taking into account any time spent waiting for delayed or overcrowded buses, trains or the time it takes to walk from the station to your office or home.

EdgeRed: Google Maps & Geospatial Analysis

EdgeRed: Google Maps & Geospatial Analysis

But time isn't the only cost of commuting. We've also crunched the numbers to calculate an “opportunity cost of commute” for all that travel time. Using the average office worker salary in Australia of $87,000, we've estimated that the total cost of commuting for 5 days a week to the office comes in at just under $20,000 per year. That's a lot of money to spend on getting to and from work!

So, what could you do with all that time and money if you didn't have to commute? You could:

  • Catch up on sleep with the equivalent of 52 nights of 8-hour rest

  • You could binge-watch all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones 6 times over

  • Or you could fly to and from Los Angeles 15 times!

Undoubtedly, working together in a physical office space yields invaluable benefits that are vital in nurturing a thriving workplace culture. However, in today's world, the pressing challenge for leaders lies in establishing a sustainable work-life balance that equally prioritizes the business's success and the well-being of its employees. Failure to do so risks compromising the very foundation of a successful and fulfilling work environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How was the "opportunity cost of commute" calculated, and what factors were considered in the analysis?

The "opportunity cost of commute" was calculated based on the average daily commute time and the average annual salary of an office worker in Australia. To determine this cost, the analysis considered the total time spent commuting per year and the corresponding monetary value based on the average salary. This calculation aimed to quantify the financial impact of commuting in terms of potential productivity or leisure activities that could be pursued with the saved time.

What are the implications of remote work on commuting habits and workplace culture post-pandemic?

How can businesses promote a sustainable work-life balance while maintaining a thriving workplace culture?


About EdgeRed

​EdgeRed is an Australian boutique consultancy specialising in data and analytics. We draw value and insights through data science and artificial intelligence to help companies make faster and smarter decisions.

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