Here are 5 Unique Ways in Which Super Commuters are Rewriting the Rules of Work

Here are 5 Unique Ways in Which Super Commuters are Rewriting the Rules of Work | Career | Emeritus

It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive disruption to every aspect of our lives, including a widespread shutdown of workplaces. The pandemic is behind us now, but many offices are choosing to retain some practices that began then. For example, some have shifted to a remote work model, while many have implemented a hybrid work model. Nearly 70% of companies offered a hybrid work environment in 2022, according to a PwC survey. Many professionals are turning into super commuters as they do not have to show up to work every day. A super commuter is someone who travels long distances between home and work regularly. There are many reasons behind this trend. Some want to take advantage of lower housing costs, whereas some want to access better job opportunities. So, it is important to understand the phenomenon and the factors fuelling it to manage super commuters effectively.

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What is a Super Commuter?

Imagine an individual traveling for at least 90 minutes or more one way! These individuals are defined as super commuters. The following points typically characterize the super commuter:

Modes of Travel

Super commuters rely on various transportation options to reach their workplaces. They use modes such as planes, cars, trains, buses, etc., to enable long-distance commuting. Most often, use a combination of these options. 


There are several reasons for professionals to turn into super commuters. For example, work-life balance, housing affordability, and job flexibility, among others, influence the decision to undertake lengthy commutes.

Growing Knowledge Economy

A rise in the knowledge economy is driving the creation of high-paying jobs in fields such as IT, engineering, and finance. These jobs are concentrated around major cities, which are often unaffordable. This, therefore, produces more super commuters.

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Why are Super Commuters Becoming More Prevalent?

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1. Cost of Living

Many employees choose to reside in the outskirts of metropolitan areas because housing costs in urban areas have risen significantly. It is, thus, difficult for individuals to afford homes close to their workplaces. The cost of living is also high due to factors like transportation. Furthermore, many want to avoid the pitfalls of urban congestion. These factors have led to the growing number of super commuters.

2. Globalization

The rise of globalization has opened up the job market, allowing professionals to access lucrative opportunities in distant cities or regions. These specialized roles may not be available in their residential areas. A super commuter is in an advantageous position to capitalize on these opportunities without giving up their residence.

3. Flexible Arrangements

Super commuting is among the several trending commuting habits because there is a lot of job flexibility, especially in today’s day and age. An individual does not have to show up at the office every day and opts for remote work in many cases. Super commuters are not tied to a physical location so can afford to find a bigger place away from the city.

4. Improvements in Transport Infrastructure and Technology

It is relatively easy nowadays to undertake long-distance commuting because of the availability of transportation options. For instance, low-cost airlines, high-speed trains, and improved highways allow professionals to live far from work. They also become super commuters due to improvements in tools for remote work and virtual collaboration. These improvements allow professionals to work remotely, especially if the company follows a hybrid model.

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How Does Super Commuting Affect Work-Life Balance?

Several factors affect the work-life balance of super commuters. Let’s look at some of them:

1. Job Satisfaction

Super commuters can opt for a job in a distant city that helps grow their careers through long-distance commuting. Many companies require employees to visit the office only for a few days. Furthermore, the option of remote work makes super commuting more manageable. 

2. Work-Life Separation

Many professionals prefer to live in neighborhoods of their choice for personal or family reasons. For some, the long commute acts as a clear mental and physical boundary between work and personal life.

3. Access to a Better Life

Super commuting is among the trending commuting habits because it allows access to more space,  a slower pace of life, and proximity to nature. In short, super commuting allows super commuters to opt for a serene lifestyle.

4. Enhanced Productivity

Some super commuters use their commuting time for work-related tasks, catching up on emails, or professional development activities like doing an online course or listening to a podcast. It can help augment productivity and efficiency back in the office.

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What are the Challenges Faced by Super Commuters?

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There are several super commuting challenges faced by professionals. Let’s shed light on some important ones:

1. Time and Fatigue

A professional can lose a few hours of their day to super commuting, which, in turn, increases fatigue. They are also subjected to urban congestion, traffic, crowded transportation, and the pressure to meet work and personal commitments, causing stress levels to increase consequently.

2. Effect on Physical Health

Most professionals live a sedentary lifestyle as they spend extended periods sitting in cars, trains, or buses. This lack of physical activity aggravates health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and musculoskeletal issues.

3. Adverse Impact on Personal Relationships

There are several downsides to super commuting when significant time is spent commuting. It strains family relationships, as you spend less time with family and friends. It is difficult to achieve a smooth integration between work and personal life as there is no room for personal pursuits.

4. Financial Strain

There is a risk of strain on financial resources as expenditure on travel can offset savings from affordable housing. The dwindling resources can limit the freedom of super commuters, making it challenging for them to fulfill their responsibilities.

5. Unpredictable Conditions

It is one of the most pressing commuting challenges, as super commuters are often at the mercy of unpredictable factors such as traffic, weather, and public transportation delays. It can affect the ability of individuals to prepare their schedules.

How Can Employers Support Super Commuters?

1. Offer Flexible Options

A company that does not have a remote work policy should look to implement one to provide flexibility in work schedules by allowing super commuters to work remotely or show up to the office only for a few days or hours. 

2. Provide Financial Assistance

A manager can offer subsidies for housing and transportation costs, such as public transit passes or gas allowances. They should also initiate carpooling and discounted parking.

3. Establish Tech Support

Many professionals opt for super commuting out of necessity rather than choice so employers must ensure that these super commuters can access remote work and video conferencing tools to minimize the need for physical presence.

4. Form Support Groups 

Employers must look after the well-being of super commuters and facilitate the creation of support groups to allow employees to share tips and organize carpooling arrangements.

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In conclusion, there are many benefits to be enjoyed if you can avail yourself of the option of flexible work arrangements. A skilled professional will undoubtedly have a strong bargaining chip to negotiate for better pay and benefits. It is, thus, prudent to choose a reliable learning platform to enhance your skills. Emeritus offers a suite of courses designed to develop your career for relevance in the long run. These courses are curated to help you understand all the trends in the modern workplace. They will empower you with insights to navigate complex challenges with confidence. So, embark on a transformative journey toward your professional growth by enrolling in one of Emeritus’ online courses today!

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About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Mitaksh has an extensive background in journalism, focusing on various beats, including technology, education, and the environment, spanning over six years. He has previously actively monitored telecom, crypto, and online streaming developments for a notable news website. In his leisure time, you can often find Mitaksh at his local theatre, indulging in a multitude of movies.
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