I'm working the "standard" hours as per our contract and I am now driving 3.5 hours a day (only about 14 miles each way) due to peak time traffic. It's only been like this for about 3 months about of my 18 month employment as it's due to a new project on the roads. When I started it was 40 mins each way or so. But it's due to go on for another 2 years at least.

The rest of the staff who work at my location have agreed other hours so that they can get to work earlier and leave earlier, or start later and leave later, with a total journey time of 1.5 rather than 3.5 hours. Those that I know of, have made it a matter of picking up children from school, their other half doesn't like it (?!) etc.

I don't have any "external" considerations like a partner, children in school I need to pick up, etc. But it's getting to me. Do I have to spend another half day each day driving just because I don't have these external commitments.

How can I raise this to bosses without coming off as a 'diva'?

  • 2
    14 miles is an hour cycling taking it easy. Might want to think about a bicycle. I pass all the traffic on my commute but I go faster than 14mph which is a fairly easy pace, with experience you'd do it in 45 minutes.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 10, 2019 at 20:49
  • 1
    I used to drive 70 miles each way and got in to work 15 minutes before the official start time so I would avoid busy traffic on the main routes... If I left 10 minutes late I was 40 minutes late to work...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 10, 2019 at 21:20
  • Is there a reason you believe that your boss would reject your request without an external consideration? Have they done/said something in the past to make you think they'd see you as a diva or is it just that your co-workers have been able to bring up their family in their reasoning?
    – BSMP
    Mar 11, 2019 at 1:13
  • @solarflare: That's not a good option. Alternate roads usually aren't designed to carry huge amount of traffic, so they often have much lower speed limit, lots of speed bumps, intersections, and roundabouts, and you may impact the communities living there due to noise if everyone starts taking the alternates, which can cause multitudes of other issues. All in all, using alternate might not actually save that much time and you just end up with a more complex route.
    – Lie Ryan
    Mar 11, 2019 at 2:17
  • 1
    If your boss is allowing others to be flexible because of family or relationship commitments, and isn't offering the same flexibility to those without family commitments, that's basically discrimination - in the US at least, that would be illegal. The employer needs to have a policy that applies to all employees, regardless of family status.
    – dwizum
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:30

3 Answers 3


Working slightly different hours to allow you to have a quicker and easier commute is a perfectly normal thing to ask, and no employer that I've asked has ever refused, let alone thought me a diva for asking.

So far as your employer is concerned, whether you've got children to pick up doesn't matter so much as whether there'll be a downside, such as not being able to attend meetings or leaving the office understaffed at some point during the day. Ultimately if it's a win for you, and they're losing nothing, there's not really any reason for them to say no.


You mentioned that other people in the company have already brought the traffic problem up with management and negotiated more convenient working hours, so your request will not be unexpected to your supervisor. You've got a legitimate reason for your request - long commute affects your work-life balance. Taking care of your well being and taking measures to prevent burnout is a sign of professionalism and not of being a "diva". Talk to your manager, make sure you arrive with a solution (specific changes to your schedule that will allow you to reduce your commute, or other suggestions, such as occasionally working from home) and not a problem and you've got a good chance of getting what you want.


If your company has a flexible hours policy, it shouldn't matter what exactly your reason for your taking advantage of the flexible hours policy. Whether your reasons are personal preference or external commitments, that's not their business. As long as your work hours doesn't interfere with you fulfilling your duties (e.g. you might have been more restricted if your role includes customer facing duties, or certain tasks that needs to be done at a specific times), your reasons shouldn't have mattered. If a parent on a similar role would have easily been granted to work at your proposed hours, so should you.

A parent with certain commitments to their child might have a stronger case than personal preference for the company to bend their policy for a specific employee with unconventional requirements, but these are out-of-policy arrangements that should really be considered in a case by case basis at discretion. A good flexible hours policy usually provides broad allowances for unconventional discretions, which is different from the nearly automatically approved flexibilities.

Personally, I would consider avoiding bad commute times as a perfectly normal, legitimate, and reasonable reason for taking advantage of flexible hours policy; especially if you shave 2 hours of commute times, if I were your manager I'd think you are a crazy masochist if you didn't take advantage of the policy. You're not a diva for wanting to save 2 hours of your day, you're just taking care of yourself, a happy employee is a good employee, a good employer would've wanted to keep their employees happy, as happy employees are more productive in the long term than ones who are stressed out.

<rant>Personally, I'm of the opinion that governments should have incentivised companies to encourage employees that otherwise would have had to travel through congested routes during peak hour to take flexible/alternative hours arrangements. This would've been a much easier and cheaper way to reduce/delay congestion issues that takes place during major constructions, as it would reduce the pressure to rush construction works and possibly even generate some revenue due to increased occupancy rates of transport infrastructure during non-peak hours. It'd also be a boon for late night business like restaurants.</rant>

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