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Should You Move for a Shorter Work Commute?

Are you one of those who are fading away from traveling all day to reach your workplace? And confused whether you should move closer to your workplace or not? For most people, the answer is a resounding yes. A shorter commute can make all the difference in your day-to-day happiness and quality of life. But there are some things to consider before you make a move. Here are four factors to consider when deciding if a shorter commute is right for you.

What are you willing to give up?

You may love the home you have now, but if it's far away from where you work, do some serious thinking before giving it up. If you want a shorter commute, you'll have fewer houses for your money in the city or town that offers that privilege. This means you might have to scale down your house or living space. Additionally, you may need to give up easy access to amenities like shopping malls and recreational areas if they are too far from home.

Do you want a shorter commute?

There's no point moving closer if it makes your commute longer due to increased travel time both ways. You can find out your commute distance by simply adding up the drive time to and from work on a typical day. If you're considering moving, use this knowledge to choose an area that fits in with how much time you want to spend getting to and from work.

Can you afford it?

Your transportation costs will be lower when you move closer, but this is only true if you're moving by choice. You will likely need to spend more money on rent or a mortgage in your new location due to the premium most homebuyers are willing to shell out for shorter commutes. Be sure you can afford it before taking the plunge.

Is the move temporary?

Make sure you're not simply jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Does your job require frequent travel, and will this be a problem if you move closer to work? If so, you might think twice before giving up the home of your dreams for an easier commute. On the other hand, if you're looking for a lifestyle change that will last, a shorter commute may be the answer to your prayers.

When all is said and done, it comes down to this: If you can find the exact same home or apartment at a lower price point because of its proximity to work, then go for it! Just make sure that proximity won't end up costing you more in additional travel time or money spent on transportation.

Also See: What is Temporary Buying

Advantages of a Shorter Work commute

There are several advantages to a shorter work commute. It reduces stress, boosts productivity at work, and makes the time you spend in your commute count. A shorter commute can also save you money on gas, repairs, and general wear and tear of your car. A few of them are given below:

Save a Lot of Money

Since your money will be going a longer distance, you can save a ton of money on gas and other transportation costs. This is the biggest advantage to those who are constantly driving across town for work or those who have long commutes from suburbs into cities. If you currently spend $4/gallon for gasoline, you could save $200/month by moving closer to work.

More Time for You

You may think that your life revolves around your job, but it shouldn't. Too many people are spending more time at their jobs than they do with their families or doing the things they enjoy. Moving closer to work gives you more time in your day to work on other goals.

Reduce Stress

Road rage, traffic jams, bumper-to-bumper traffic are just some of the things that bring stress into your life. You can get rid of all that by simply moving closer to work or near a train station so you can avoid driving in rush hour traffic. It will not only reduce your stress, but it will also give you a more relaxed state of mind which can actually improve your productivity at work.

Save Time on the Weekend

If you have a long commute, then you probably feel that your weekends are just an extension of your weekdays. Spending time getting to and from work eats up so much time that you could be spending with family and friends. If you can cut down on your commute time, then you will have more time to spend with your loved ones rather than staring out the window wondering why people say idle hands are the devil's workshop.

You Can Live Anywhere

If you're planning to live in a big city, you should definitely live near where you work. Living in the suburbs is great, but there are some definite downsides to it. You can't get something for anything, and when you choose to move away from your job in order to save money, there's usually a price to pay (more driving time). If you want to live somewhere other than where you work, live near a train station, or where public transportation is readily available.

See Also: Best and Worst US Cities for Job Seekers | Cities with best public transport in the USA

Disadvantages of Shorter Work Commute

While there are many advantages to a shorter work commute, it does come with disadvantages. There are also some disadvantages to having a shorter work commute. The time you save commuting can be used in other ways, so it's not completely one-sided. You may have to pay a little more for rent or a mortgage, but in the end, you will likely save money by avoiding the costs of owning and operating a car.

Higher Rent/Mortgage

If you're taking public transportation to work, then this isn't so much of an issue since your commute is going to be longer than driving a car. However, if you're able to find an apartment or house that is near your job and save some money on gas and transportation costs, then the increase in rent or mortgage will be worth it.

You May Have to Drive More Than You Currently Do

While you may not have a long commute already (or own a car), moving closer to work can result in having to commute a long distance, especially if you're within the city. This usually only happens if you own a home or look for an apartment near your job. You can use these websites and Apps to find Apartment for you near your Jobs Locality.

You Have Less Land-to-Masses Ratio

One of the main advantages of living in the suburbs is having more land available for homes, buildings, and other properties. The fact that you have so much more room in your vicinity can reduce crime rates, build a sense of community, and provide a great place to raise kids. However, with the suburbs comes long commutes if you work in the city unless public transportation is readily available.

Ways to enjoy Long work Commutes

If you don't want to move for a shorter work commute, then there are ways you can make the most of it. Long work commutes aren't complete drudgery if you spend that time wisely. You can take a book or a laptop to enjoy what would otherwise be wasted time talking on the phone with friends and family, listening to music, playing games, or reading a book. Few suggestions are given below,

Listening to Podcasts

If you're someone who loves learning and listening to the news, then commuting is a great time to learn something new. Podcasts are available on almost any topic that interests you, from finance to sports and barbecue cooking.

Developing a music playlist for the commute

If you're a music lover, then having a long commute is the perfect time to develop a new playlist. Taking some of your favorite songs and putting them together in a way that tells a story or paints an image of something special for you is an excellent songwriting exercise.

Travel with a friend

Traveling or Carpooling with a friend is a great way to save money on commuting costs. If you own a car, you can give rides to friends, family members, or co-workers.

Using mobile apps to de-stress and meditate

Many people use mobile apps to help them relax or meditate during their commute. You can download some great apps for free to help you calm down, focus on the present moment, and live in the now.

Reading books

If you are a book lover, then you're probably already carrying a book with you everywhere you go. One advantage of having a long commute is that it gives you the time to read just about anything. Whether it's an e-book or paper, reading can help pass the time and be productive.

Making new friends

You may not have as much time as you'd like, but if you're commuting via public transportation, then it's a great time to meet new people. It doesn't have to be a deep or meaningful conversation where your life stories are told, but having a few conversations with people around you adds a little excitement and adventure to your day.


In this day and age, many people are starting to move back into the cities because of all the benefits they provide, such as shorter work commutes (if you live far away) or proximity to your job (if you live close by). So should you move for a shorter work commute? The answer is it depends. But since there are so many advantages to moving closer to work, it may be worth the time and money you spend on it as long as your focus isn't just on saving time or cutting down on commuting costs. It's about getting more of a work-life balance, and that usually starts with moving closer to where you work. You should also keep in mind that you can be mobile and that it's not worth the stress you'll end up getting from a very long commute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I move for a shorter commute?

The most significant and most apparent benefit of a shorter commute is the time and money you'll save. You could be spending that time with your family or friends, doing something you enjoy. If you can cut down on your commute time, you will have more time to spend with the most important people to you rather than staring out the window wondering why people say idle hands are the devil's workshop.

How do you handle long commutes at work?

There are a few suggestions that you can do to handle a long commute at work, such as taking a book or laptop to help pass the time, listening to podcasts on whatever it is that interests you, learning something new, developing a playlist for your commute (music), carpooling with friends and family members, using apps to meditate or relax during the long commutes at work and so on.

Also See: Best Interstate Moving Companies in the USA