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Kyra Cavanaugh's picture

My mother relocated with nearly every job she took. From Lansing to Glen Ellyn to Chicago, she went through all the effort and expense of moving house to make her commute less stressful.

But trends are changing—particularly for young professionals. Companies that want to take advantage of top talent are looking for other ways to ease the strain of commuting. One top tactic: telecommuting.

A daily 60-minute commute sounds awful to most. But a 60-minute commute two or three times a week is a lot more doable. Here are 3 current trends in where we live:

Spatial Mismatch
People don’t really live where they work. The average home tenure is 6-7 years, versus the average job tenure of 4.1 years. Plus, for working couples, the home location is almost always better for one than the other.

Takeaway: It’s hard to move to take a job. A lot of other issues tip the scales toward staying put—hurdles like a spouse’s work, kids’ school relationships, and whether or not they can even sell their home.

Cool Communities
Three in four young professionals choose a place to live first, and then look for a job. There’s a whole “cool cities” movement around trying to make your city the kind of place young professionals want to live.

Takeaway: Cool cities may be getting the young people, but they can telework to jobs anywhere in the world. If you’re set up for telecommuting, you can recruit in Seattle, L.A. and San Diego.

Driving Down
Fewer young people (ages 17-20) are getting driving licenses. And people between 21-30 account for a decreasing amount of driving. Young workers today want location efficiency.

Takeaway: Long commutes are so 2008. You’ll have an advantage if workers can telecommute even one or two days a week and take some drive-time out of their schedules.

Hear more about the corporate benefits of telecommuting in our podcast with Joan Blades.  Joan and I discuss her new book, The Custom Fit Workplace.

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