Paid to commute? Companies are luring remote workers back with benefits.

Paid to commute? Companies are luring remote workers back with benefits.

A survey by Clarify Capital found when asked to identify their biggest annoyances with returning to the office, about 45% of workers identified the commute.

Phil Libin firmly believes commuting to work every day is toxic.

Libin, former managing director at General Catalyst and former co-founder and CEO at Evernote and CoreStreet, said he has given up the daily commute forever, and he is never looking back.

He won’t ask his employees at video communications app mmHmm to make a trip to the office every day, either.

“There is no amount of money I can pay someone to make it worth sacrificing three hours a day every day of the week on commute,” Libin said. “I am vaguely embarrassed for having run companies before where I expected hundreds of people to commute.”

He believes companies should focus on productivity and embrace remote work as a recruitment and retention tool that gives workers a higher quality of life. But if management decides to require employees to come in, he thinks they should pay employees for their time — and do their best to minimize employee commute times.

“If people are commuting for two hours because you don’t pay them enough to live in the city, you should pay them for their time,” Libin said. “It’s kind of weird that that’s not expected.”

Federal law allows employers to let workers deduct $300 per month from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis to pay for commuting costs.

A recent survey by Newsweek found most workers agreed companies should cover commute costs, and a majority said companies should offer free meals to employees working in the office.

Can’t offer remote work? For companies that have to be on site, some experts suggest trying out a four-day workweek.

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