Blessed are the self employed, is a saying that I maybe just came up with, (although I imagine that some one has said it before this) but probably not. There are a lot of downsides to self employment, like having to buy your own healthcare and the dreaded self employment taxes that you have to pay., just to name a couple However there are a lot of positive to being self employed. So many in fact, that a multitude of studies have shown that the average self employed individual is much more happier than the Average Joe showing up to work for some company, day after day.
In my opinion one explanation for this increase in happiness and job satisfaction is the lack of a commute. That soul sucking part of a job, where you’re dodging similar depressed, salty, people trying to weave in and out of lanes in order to get to their cubicle. On top of that the Average Joe isn’t getting paid for this. Instead the commute and preparation for the job (making lunches, etc.) are unpaid hours that need to be cut down on in order to boost job satisfaction.
The average one way commute in the U.S. is 26.5 minutes, equating to almost an hour a day of unpaid time, to just get to the job. Over the course of a week this adds up to 4.4 hours a week and over the course of a year this will add up to 200 hours. That means your commute alone is an extra 5 weeks of work that gets tacked onto your already busy schedule.Imagine how much work you could get done if you had a much shorter commute.
Shorting that 26.5 minute commute to a 15 minute commute would give you approximately 80 hours back, that you could put into your job or spend doing things you love to do. I believe that we focus too much on how much a job pays and not enough on the logistics of a job. It’s great that someone can make $100,000 a year in San Francisco being a business analyst. But if they have to live in another country and drive 2 hours each way every day then is it worth it? At that point it almost becomes another job, except you don’t get paid for drive to your job.
In conclusion one of the keys to work/business happiness is having a short commute, for the simple fact that traffic sucks and you don’t get paid to drive to work. If you find yourself being able to listen to entire podcasts in your car during a single commute, then perhaps it’s time to think about finding a new job. Take it from the self employed, the best commute is no commute.