If you would have asked me that question when gas prices were not only through the roof, but also through the cumulonimbus clouds (take that 8th grade science class!!), I would have likely had a much different response. But now that gas prices have subsided a bit (although it looks like they’re inching back up again), it’s easier to appreciate some of the benefits that go along with a long work commute.
A few mornings ago, I was speaking to one of my colleagues and he mentioned how much he missed being able to download after a long day at work during his commute home. And I know what he means. When I lived in North Carolina, I lived six miles from work. And as my ex-fiancé will attest, there were plenty of times when I came home from work all wound up because I didn’t have a chance to decompress.
For me, a longer drive means leaving the house before dawn. And luckily, I happen to pass a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts  on my way into work. The coffee is great but I’ve also developed quite a fondness for their sour cream glazed donut…but we’ll worry about that if I get to the point where I need an intervention.
And then there’s the radio. There’s nothing like a good morning show (of which Pittsburgh has plenty), to start the day off right. And on the ride home, I catch up on local and national news and, or of course, Steeler football .
Sure traffic jams and bad weather can be a pain, but I’d like to think my coworkers, friends and family all benefit from my having a longer commute into work. I know I’m definitely less stressed when I get home after an intense day at the office.
Shawn Graham is Director of MBA Career Services at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Courting Your Career: Match Yourself with the Perfect Job (www.courtingyourcareer.com ).