My employer (science) has several sites. One is in Cambridge MA, where some colleagues tell me their one-way commute is in excess of an hour. I've even heard that a few colleagues commute up to 2 hrs one-way. Maybe they're able to get some work done if they commute on Amtrak, but I'm guessing not on the subway. At my site, in a smaller town, my commute is less than 15 minutes.
I chose the smaller town, even though, all else being equal, I would have preferred Boston, because I assumed that commute time counts against my personal time which is in short supply. But even then, I had underestimated their commute time, and now I don't understand how they have that much personal time to give up.
I can't help but compare myself to them since we're all salaried PhDs. For example, I wonder if one day I might choose or be asked to transfer to their site. Ignoring whether commuting itself is boring, if I were to transfer, would I be expected to give up 1.5 hrs of my personal time or would I spend 1.5 fewer hours in the office?
Employers often pay a cost-of-living premium for those in expensive locales. Do they also permit a "cost-of-time" premium?