Interesting fact – I’ve never met most of my clients in person. When I tell people this, the usual response is somewhat skeptical. My theory has always been that it’s more efficient for both parties (the client and me) to keep our business relationship entirely virtual in nature. With tools such as Skype, FreeConferenceCallHD, and Google Voice, why mess around with all the commuting? In this article, I’m going to present the undeniable facts about the efficiency of a virtual business relationship.

The Cost of Driving to Work

Americans spend 5.5 billion hoursaverage time in traffic year sitting in traffic, according to a recent study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.  This translates into an estimated cost of $121 billion in commute time and fuel expenses. For the average American commuter, that translates into over $800 in gas and lost time per year. And keep in mind, this is only considering the time and cost of one individual’s commute. If both the husband and wife work outside the home, it’s obviously double that amount. Furthermore, some estimates (by people who have studied this topic much more than me) state that each mile of your daily commute translates into an annual cost of $170 per year per mile.  A ten-mile commute translates into a $1,700 out-of-pocket cost.

The Human Angle

Wasting time in traffic can be even more frustrating when you factor in all the family time you’re missing. If your average time spent in traffic is 30 minutes (each direction), that’s five hours per week spent commuting. In one year of working, the average worker would dedicate nearly 11 full days sitting in traffic (260 hours to be precise). What are you missing out on? As any parent will tell you, children already grow up fast enough. Time wasted in traffic compounds the problem.

What to Do?

Despite the best efforts of Marissa Mayer at Yahoo (who recently axed work-from-home employment for Yahoo employees), the simple fact is that more Americans than ever are now working from home. In doing so, professionals can pocket the $800 per year in commuting costs while simultaneously becoming more engaged with family activities. If you’re tired of driving an hour to work each day, take the first step to a legitimate work from home career by downloading Chapter 1 of my book for free (shameless plug, I know).  If you’re still on the fence, check out this infographic. It does an excellent job of highlighting the many drawbacks of a daily commute.


The Cost of Traffic Congestion


Executive in Sweatpants is the book from marketer and author Matt Keener.  The book is a how-to guide for launching and growing a successful work-from-home consulting business.  Sign up to receive future blog postings and news sent directly to your email inbox.  Learn more about buying the book (now available in paperback!).



Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and

1 Comment

  1. Marjorie R. Asturias Reply

    Totally agree with this. I’ve always, always hated commuting, and I have the added “pleasure” of living in one of the worst areas in the country in terms of traffic: the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. I now do as little commuting as possible, preferring instead to limit my business-related drives to the rare networking event worth attending.

    I do think that the elimination of commute time is one of the most underrated advantages of remote working. Just the financial cost of all that lost productivity hours as a result of sitting in endless traffic is staggering. And if the statistics bear out, commute times are supposed to worsen in the coming years in some of the fastest-growing cities in the country, including Dallas.

    Thanks for a great blog post!

    Marjorie R. Asturias
    Blue Volcano Media

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