How long?! Why it's your commute that's killing you, not your job.

On a daily basis I speak to Surveyors across London and the South East who are looking for their next job. There are a multitude of reasons as to why they are looking to move, the most common being that there is no room for progression or they were mis-sold the role. However, more and more commonly people are moving jobs because of the amount of time they spend commuting to work. Whether they are driving or using public transport, some are spending upwards of 2 hours each way on their journey to work and they are realising that this is ruining their quality of life.

Being someone who helps people in to new jobs, asking a jobseeker their commutable distance is an important question when considering whether the location of a role is realistic. With this in mind, I wanted to look in to this and I will look forward to hearing your comments.


I’m seeing 3 recurring reasons why people accept roles which involve overly long commutes (if you know of more I would love to hear them).

  1. They secured the role during the recession – In my opinion this is understandable. Many people had trouble finding a role during and immediately after the recession and for those who managed to, there were sometimes sacrifices that needed to be made. Needless to say, we are now helping these people to secure new opportunities that amongst other things, give them a big chunk of their free-time back.
  1. They live in the middle of no-where – I have worked with some people who live in pretty remote areas of the country and whilst some might consider relocating closer to working communities, some are not willing or able to relocate and so are forced to consider a larger commute.
  1. They are unaware of suitable local opportunities – In some cases they jumped at the first job they saw, in others they were talked in to a role by a recruiter or employer with no focus being placed on location.

Now, I don’t need to do the maths for you, travelling an extra 4 hours each day adds a sizeable chunk to your working week and it is your personal time that is being eaten up. Jobseekers have rightly pointed out that this is time which could be spent with their family or significant other, out with friends, at the gym or improving their prospects through evening classes and NOW they want it back!

With the job market and the construction industry in the best shape we have seen for a number of years, NOW is a great time to review this and make some changes.


Doing this may seem harder than you might think but there are proactive things that you can do: –

  1. Internal move – Does your company have offices that are closer to your home? If so, speak to HR and ask to be relocated closer to home. A good employer should recognise that reducing your commute will make you a happier, healthier and more productive worker.
  1. Relocate – Whilst this may seem a drastic move and other aspects of your life might remove this option, relocation is achievable and I am currently helping more than one jobseeker relocate for this exact reason.
  1. Find a new job – With a buoyant market it is a good time to move, but make sure to really think through every aspect of your move to ensure that you are not leaving a great job with a bad location for something that is closer to home but which lets you down in other areas. A good recruiter can help to work through these points and then thoroughly assess the market for you. Some, like HD Surveyors, undertake a bespoke search for each candidate based on their specific requirements, rather than just spamming out their CV. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter how they plan to go about finding your perfect role prior to sending them your CV.

Very occasionally I come across people who actually enjoy a long commute… They read, catch up on emails or even sleep. If you are one of these people I guess this article is moot but if not then I hope it has helped to highlight how important it is to look at every aspect of your job, not forgetting to take your personal life in to consideration!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and if you are in this very situation, we would love to help.