Hand with stack of money

Time is Money, and Employees Know it Too

A couple of interesting things to consider when it comes to getting everyone back in the office again versus working remotely.

All those years telling employees that their restroom break, quick personal calls, momentary look at social media, or the time spent catching up with a coworker were “lost” money and productivity finally sank in. I’m betting it’s not how employers wanted it to be.

For example:

Time Is Money: The True Cost of Commuting

Commuting time continues to grow, in effect reducing wages by more than 10%.

Also, something that I had not considered until it showed up in this article:

People are over the 40-hour workweek: ‘We don’t want to waste our time’

“If your boss at your primary job asks you to work extra hours, you can calculate exactly how much that additional time is worth if you have a side hustle or freelance project with an hourly rate that would pay more,” Klotz says.

Time is money, indeed. Increasingly, that means that the time spent commuting is being viewed as time employers demand that we aren’t getting paid for, that we could be getting paid for from freelance efforts if we didn’t have to commute.

We could say the same for time spent traveling for work, working late, hitting the “not required – but kind of required” happy hour gatherings, etc. That’s all the time that my salary doesn’t cover. Let’s not include extra gas costs, extended childcare, etc. That’s also something that we require.

It’s not just that time could be spent on a side hustle where we could make money. I don’t have a side hustle, for example. When I drove to an office every day, which was a round trip that took about an hour and fifteen minutes, five days a week, that was a time not spent with family and friends, not spent on hobbies, not spent reading, not spent in nature, just time in my car—over six hours per week. (6:15 technically – only for commuting, I won’t even get into working late.)

Multiply that by, let’s argue, 48 weeks per year to account for holidays and PTO, and we’re talking about 300 hours yearly.

If we wasted 300 hours per year, plenty of employers would point out how much money that “cost” them. It’s only fair that workers do the same when the commute to the office is a waste of time, too.


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