"If you can cut an hourlong commute each way out of your life, it’s the [happiness] equivalent of making an extra $40,000 a year if you’re at the $50,000 to $60,000 level. It’s an easy way for us to get happier. Move closer to your place of work.”
Commuting is tough. My commute is 2 hours each way and involves driving, taking a train, taking a subway, and a 10 minute walk. During the winter, there are many times when it is done entirely in the dark — both ways. And, as long commuters know, it is seldom stress free and is accompanied by a very real expense (dollar and other). Lots of people in the NYC metro area do this, so I am not alone. We have families, interests and lives outside NYC that just don’t make it feasible to move closer.
This is why I work from home as often as I can (particularly on Fridays). Some people (and companies) view working from home as less than a full work day — like a fake vacation day. Some don’t think you can do this if you manage a team of people. This is couldn’t be more misinformed. I actually often find I get more done when I eliminate the 4 hour commuting time from my day. With current technology like instant messaging & Skype, you can be available to your employees & clients just as readily. Plus I’m happier, more relaxed, actually work longer, and it makes me more disciplined about how I use my time in office. And I can still be available to my family. Everybody wins.