I read somewhere that these are the top ten life stressors:
1. Death of spouse
3. Marital separation
4. Jail term
5. Death of a close family member
6. Personal injury or illness
8. Fired at work
9. Marital reconciliation
While I would agree with all of these, I would also add my own—the daily commute.
On an average day I have a 45 minute commute to work and from work. I say on average because any number of factors that can stretch that out to an hour or more each way. Certainly, any kind of precipitation in our neck of the woods sends our local commuters into "I-forgot-how-to-drive" panic. Let a light rain fall, and it looks like a demolition derby on our highways and byways. I have seen the sun rising over the horizon throw everyone into craziness. Really. Apparently, that big orange ball coming up in the morning sky is totally unexpected for some people.
Of course, traffic stress, even cumulative over a period of years, doesn't compare to most of those items in the list above., but I also think its effect is underestimated. I'm the type of person who enjoys being in an office environment, but if I weren't, I think I would pursue a telecommuting relationship. What is your company's stand on telecommuting? Some companies allow it if your commute is 50 miles or over. Some don't allow it at all, even if your job isn't dependent on office equipment or co-worker input. I would be interested in hearing from telecommuters who have benefited from the arrangement, and I would be interested in hearing from managers who object to telecommuting and find out what they're reasons are.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.