Welcome to Marketing Is Broken, where we curse bad marketing like a slow driver just chillin’ in the fast lane. Let’s check out this week’s story.
This week our attention was drawn to a blog post by Jared Shelly on the Convene.com blog. He asks.. “How long is too long to commute?”
How long is too long to commute?
In his article, he cites some pretty compelling numbers that make a case against the daily ritual for about 45% of all Americans.
First, the average commute is about 26 minutes and counting. Those of us with especially long commutes are at an all-time high with 90-minute one-way commutes up a whopping 64-percent since 1990.
Second, it turns out, commuting is one of the worst habits you can pick up if you want to live a long, healthy life.
People with long commutes are 33 percent more likely to suffer from depression, 12 percent more likely to report work-related stress, 21 percent more likely to be obese, and 46 percent more likely to get less than seven hours of sleep each night.
They should add smoking a pack of cigarettes through the day to the job description while they’re at it.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Shelly cemented his case against commuting by citing a study that claims adding just 20 minutes to your daily commute has the same negative effect on your job satisfaction as receiving a 19 percent pay cut.
So what is it about commutes and why are they worse for us than most of what we find when we’re on WebMD looking for explanations for our hot sauce-related stomach problems? That brings us to this week’s topic.
Commuting is something that wears on all of us. In fact, according to a study by Robert Half International, nearly 1 in 4 marketers have left their jobs because of the commute.
Personally, when I flew twice a week for work, I pledged never to complain about a daily commute.
But then when I landed a job job with a daily commute, I was cursing it two days later and promised that I’d be better if I could at least work from home a few days per week.
And when I got one of those jobs, you guessed it. I still felt like any amount of commuting was too much.
And now a year after going remote, I’m happier, my stress has decreased… even my cholesterol is looking like a chart that you’d be proud to share with a client or your CMO.
So why do we hate commutes so much and why are they bad for us?
In short, chemistry.
Driving in your car to your job each day is the physiological equivalent of getting to and from work in a metal and plastic stampede through a concrete valley at sixty miles per hour.
Logically, we’re singing along to the greatest hits from the ‘70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but evolutionarily, your body feels like it’s about to get trampled by a literal Ram, Bronco, or Mustang.
And so it releases adrenaline and cortisol, the two chemicals responsible for our body’s fight-or-flight response.
And so we show up to work all amped up on stress chemicals. The lizard brain takes over and you’re on your way to having a bad day. And as marketers, there’s nothing worse for creativity than when the lizard brain takes over.
How are you supposed to have a good day at work like that?
Fast forward to later that day and you get to do it again, just in time for dinner with the family.
If you think about it, it’s kind of amazing we allow ourselves to participate in this twice-daily stress ritual as a society.
So what’s the answer then? Remote jobs.
Interest in remote working has skyrocketed in recent years. And what’s not to love?
When you work for a remote company, you end up getting all that time back and avoid the nasty bi-daily stress chemical bath.
Plus, your financial situation may improve because of lower transportation costs, being able to apply to higher-paying jobs outside of your geography, and the ability to move to places with lower costs of living.
If you’re like, sign me up. Then let’s talk about how to actually pull it off.
For that, we go to Grant Tilus, the Director of Product Management at Cro Metrics.
Grant started working for the a/b testing company nearly a year ago and shared his steps for how he landed what many would consider a dream remote job for marketers.
First, Grant spent years building his network by attending events, blogging, and volunteering within the marketing community. People tend to discount the value of networking because there’s often no immediate value. But in any job search, remote or otherwise, it’s always good to know someone who knows someone.
Second, Grant perfected how to search for companies and jobs that offer the benefit of working remote. Browsing sites like Remote.com, adding the word remote to job searches on LinkedIn and other sites, and searching for jobs on niche industry websites like Growth Hackers were the primary means Grant used to find opportunities.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out. When Grant contacted Chris Neumann, the CEO of Cro Metrics, about potential opportunities, it turns out the company was looking for someone like Grant at the time.
And so they hired him. Right person, right time, and a lot of hustle. Great job Grant.
Going remote isn’t for everyone, but if it’s something that interests you, follow the steps Grant took and you’ll increase your chances of ditching your commute and landing a job you can do from the comfort of your own home.