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Should commuting to your workplace count as work time?

20 Comments

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20 Comments
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For any time over a half-hour, yes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why would it? Does anyone in the world actually do that?

You choose where you live. You choose where you work. Granted Japanese culture makes people more reluctant to change either of those, but it's still people's choices. If someone chooses to work somewhere with a long commute from their home, it really is on them.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Tough one. I agree with katsu that you choose where you live, but only to an extent. If you're transferred unwillingly and the company won't pay any kind of moving and housing allowance because it's close enough for a two hour commute, then I think it should count as work, yes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Even if it was counted, the office really has no solid way to monitor one's commuting time to and from. How about counting the company drinking parties as overtime instead? you're sometimes forced to attend anyway

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Smith pretty much summed up what I would have said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have heard of people commuting by Shinkansen. How sensible is that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No.  Company gets no benefit from your time commuting.  Anyone saying they can work on a crowded Metro train is full of it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree with smithinjapan. My wife was unwillingly transferred from her average-size-in-an-average-town branch a fifteen minute drive away to a much, much smaller one just over an hour away in the annual 'move people around for no real reason or benefit' shuffle.

I feel people in those cases should be compensated at least for the morning commute.

Company gets no benefit from your time commuting

You mean apart from the benefit of having staff at the company's place(s) of business, right?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"If you're transferred unwillingly and the company won't pay any kind of moving and housing allowance because it's close enough for a two hour commute,"

This two hour commute thing is what gets me. It means 4 hours spent commuting each day. Not productive time spent, plus it's exhausting for the employee, I can't imagine such employees are as productive as others with less commuting time. No one should have to spend more than an hour to get to their workplace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

10 or 15 years ago you could have made a strong case for this, but with smartphones etc, I think it's a no.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Personally yes, but in any case even if it is included in work time I doubt overall wages would rise. Hopefully with the population stabilizing or declining in developed countries, labor's portion of national wealth will rise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Kaerimashita: No. Company gets no benefit from your time commuting. Anyone saying they can work on a crowded Metro train is full of it.

Totally disagree. A company may get no benefit when raw materials or parts are in transit but they pay for the delivery. So long as a company demands that labor be at a particular spot at a particular time they need to pay for such labor to get there.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Should commuting to your workplace count as work time?

Yes. Anyone object to getting paid to commute?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Your salary comes from money paid by customers for services or goods produced by your company. Why should a customer have to support employee transportation? That's the company's responsibility not the customers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is quite a vague question. The answer would depend on the time and purpose of the travel. A person who travels 60-90 minutes each way every day is quite normal and acceptable. However, a person who travels for 2 hours or more on special occasions should be compensated if the travel is outside of normal working hours. On the other hand, a person who travels two hours or more each way every day needs to find a better job or move closer to their work.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was offered a job, interview was quite close...then was mailed the site of where my employment was to be a 5 hour daily commute. I declined their offer. Simple math 8 hours work pluse 5, that's 13 hour day with no overwork. 70% of my day unpaid or a huge hourly reduction for time spent in total. I value my family too much to sacrifice my time for a "Job"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

9 hours, lunch was not paid time. But you were still required to eat in at the company cafeteria.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Cricky: my commute now is about 50 minutes, and I cannot fathom 2.5 hours one way unless I was compensated for that time and could do work in transit. Problem in Tokyo is that even a short commute can be horrific due to overcrowding.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Trevorpeace

For any time over a half-hour, yes.

I disagree as this would cause discrimination in hiring.

On another point, this is a difficult topic. It'd be nice if everyone got paid a flat rate of 30 mins or 1 hour if you lived a minimum of half an hour away for example. But on the other hand where is the limit? Should your company also pay for the time you spend doing laundry? Buying tools? Maintaining your car?

I' already glad that they pay my transport in Japan, because that would never happen where I'm from!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I loath the commute particularly in summer, now I work from home. The stairs commute is fine by me. Use the train to get to the airport. Caught trains for years, just can't face a packed train anymore. Thank god for Internet shopping, don't even have to, have not been to a major hub in years. But I'm lucky. It's those that have to cram into a train I truly feel sorry for. I think 50min is about average. Then maybe a buss or bike ride. As efficient as it is, it was built on too small a scale. Even with the declining workforce it's still too small for what's asked of it. Good luck my friend.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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