How doubled commute times are hurting healthcare worker well-being

By the numbers

  • More than 750,000 U.S. healthcare and hospital workers–that’s nearly one-third of all healthcare workers in the country–rely on public transit as their main form of commuter transportation.  
  • Due to transit budget cuts across the country, many workers are experiencing doubled commute times.
  • These new commuting challenges come at a time when upwards of 70% of Americans are avoiding public transit because they feel it is unsafe. Of those who are still riding, mainly the core of the essential workforce without access to personal vehicles, many fear that transmission risk continues to be a problem because of a lack of enforcement around shared safety protocols that have been proven to keep everyone safe, like masks and social distancing.

Why it matters

  • Most workers who rely on public transit today risk being stranded due to a lack of route availability and face doubled commute times in light of COVID-19. 
  • Apart from the added time to their commutes, workers must also carry the burden of exposure risks due to lack of mask or safety protocol enforcement. 
  • Healthcare workers are already 12 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than the general public, and if their commute is also unsafe, that increased risk extends into your hospital and further puts worker health and patient care at risk. 
  • Unfortunately, commuting isn’t much better for healthcare workers who drive alone to work—not only are they facing more traffic congestion than ever before, but they’re also battling and paying for parking spaces when they do arrive at work, adding even more strain to an already stressful commute.
  • The impact bad commutes have on workers is more far-reaching than just the above: nearly 25% of workers have left a job because of a poor commute, making it the third-leading cause of voluntary attrition and costing hospitals millions of dollars a year. The cost of replacing a single nurse due to attrition is estimated at $44,000. In addition to this turnover, 55% of workers say the commute has increased their stress levels, and 33% say that a bad commute has caused depression—further eroding the healthcare worker employee experience.  

What you can do

  • Not only can addressing the commute boost worker engagement and loyalty, which mitigates turnover, but it can also add to the hospital bottom line. One study of 23 U.S. hospitals and healthcare systems found that those with more engaged workers resulted in 8% higher net revenue per patient than facilities with lower engagement. Solving the commute addresses multiple pain points for you and your people.  
  • Provide commute options for your employees so they don’t have to choose between safety risks, doubled commute times, or parking challenges. 
  • Use a complete commute solution like Scoop, which makes carpools within a trusted and verified network of co-workers following the same enforceable, required in-car health and safety standards. We were the first carpool or rideshare company in the United States to require strict in-car safety protocols. We’ve since expanded our safety efforts to further support the essential workforce and now allow commuters to designate specific co-workers they’d always prefer to carpool with to create “commute bubbles” that help every worker commute more confidently and show up to your hospital safely and reliably.

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