Do You Get Paid For The Work You Do On Your Way To Work?
I work from home, but I still pay myself 50 cents for walking to my desk
Many Australians spend hours travelling to work, whether stuck in traffic or standing on a packed train - we all suffer the long painful journeys in the morning and afternoon. One Aussie Dad; Jon Donovan spent on average a mind boggling 1 hour and 45 minutes each way on his journey to his IT career, that’s some serious dedication to the 1s and 0s.
Sadly the commutes are only getting longer, with the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey showing that the average commute time has gone from 3.7 hours per week in 2002 to 4.5 hours in 2019. This can lead to employees being less satisfied with their jobs, the survey indicating that people who spend longer than two hours traveling are more likely to leave their job within a year.
With the travel to the trade time increasing - for many Aussies the works day begins while on the bus, train or automobile. Looking at their phone to check a few cheeky work emails or tending to those all-important spreadsheets. They need to use this commute time productively - get them tasks completed.
So, this all begs the question, if you are working while commuting should you ask your boss for a little extra cash?
The ABC surveyed a number people asking this very question and found that a lot of them were not getting a dime. Journalist Lucia Stein discovered that…
‘…most respondents said they did not get paid for this time and were not willing to ask their employers to be paid because they felt it was a part of their normal jobs...’
Surely if you need to work out of hours than your job is intruding on your personal life? Economist and RMIT emeritus professor David Hayward pointed out that it’s a tricky situation, telling the ABC…
"You've had countries like France that have legislated to give workers the right not to be pestered by work emails outside of work hours and there are other jurisdictions that have thought of it… But importantly they've left it up to employees to decide whether to invoke that right or not."
In the end, if much of your office time is spent on public transport or on the freeway, have a chat with your boss, maybe they can swing some extra change your way, or at the very least install a computer desk in your Subaru.