How much time do your folks spend commuting to and from the office? According to WNYC, citing the U.S. Census Bureau, the average travel time to work in the United States is approximately 25 minutes.

But don't forget that they have to return home after your day ends. Add another 25 minutes and a commute is closing in on almost an hour per day.

Over the course of a year, this works out to right around 13,000 minutes. That's a lot of time in a car, on the subway, train, or on a bus.

Worse yet, a commute can be even longer if you live in a city known for its traffic jams. Think Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago, horrific!

A long commute has a way of dragging people down and almost always it's a matter of time before your people realize this is killing productivity.

1. An Hour Commuting is an Hour Work Isn't Getting 100% Done.

Did you ever hear someone say "Yeah, my commute is long but I get a lot of work done on the bus." I'm not buying it. IF you get a seat and IF there's no one talking your ear off and IF there's wifi on the vehicle then MAYBE you get a few minutes of work done, interrupted. I have shied away from hiring people who just live too far. Why? It takes them about one year to ultimately get sick of commuting, then they leave to find work closer. And I don't blame them.

Imagine how much more your business could be with the 200+ hours they spend commuting every year.

2. It Sucks Energy...All of It

Sitting in traffic, getting yelled at by other drivers, and watching the time pass has a way of sucking all the positive energy out of one's body. By the time they reach the office they are disgruntled, stressed, and ready for a break.

But guess what? The day is just beginning. Already productivity is hurt.

3. It Increases Health Problems

All that time spent in traffic can increase a risk of a health concern in the future. Talk about productivity suffering then as your folks need to take care of themselves.

For example, researchers from the University School of Medicine in Saint Louis noted that commuting more than 10 miles each way can increase your blood sugar level. This can play games with your energy levels in the short term, while increasing the risk of developing diabetes in the future.

This doesn't even account for all of the germs going on in planes, trains and buses. That guy coughing two seats away is spraying his germs all over the place!

4. Leaving Work Early

"If I could just leave the office 30 minutes early I would miss a lot of the traffic." Have you ever been asked this? Do your people ever sneak out early? I would!

This may save them time on their commute, but it won't do you any favors in terms of the business productivity.

5. Hinders Sleep Patterns

Get this: the Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found that those who commute more than 45 minutes per day have more issues with sleep quality and exhaustion than those with a shorter commute. A lack of sleep can, and will, catch up with you.

These are just five of the ways a long commute can kill productivity for your business. If there is a way to eliminate or reduce this problem, such as enabling people to work from home, it's time to take advantage. A change for the better will boost your productivity.

Published on: Mar 9, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.