May 31, 2019
Over a third of respondents (36 percent) to a new survey report they are commuting for more than 90 minutes a day; yet despite a high demand for employer provisions to help alleviate the stress of the commute such as flexible or remote working and season ticket loans, 43 percent of employees stated that these were not currently offered by their employer. The Commuter Survey from Office Space in Town also claims that among the top commuting complaints were: lengthy journeys (32 percent); overcrowding (27 percent) and delays and frequent cancellations (26.01 percent). With the survey also revealing 75 percent take the commute into account when making their employment decisions, there is a lot that employers could be doing to minimise the negative impact on employee attraction and retention.
“Journeys to work are having a much bigger strain on their lifestyle, family life, wellbeing and productivity than perhaps initially imagined.”
Highlights from the survey included:
Commuting complaints: With commuters trying to optimise how they spend their day, the time it takes door-to-door (32 percent) was considered to be the worst thing about people’s commute. Also cited as pet peeves were congestion on the roads (31 percent) and overcrowding on public transport (27 percent).
Wellbeing and family life: 36 percent claim that their commute is having a detrimental impact on their lifestyle. Nearly one third (29 percent) state it affects their capacity to keep up with parenting responsibilities, and over 60 percent state that their commute is impacting their ability to get enough sleep.
Social life: Over a third of respondents (38 percent) claim that their commute is negatively affecting their social life. Over half (55 percent) state that it negatively affects how often they see family and friends, with a further 43 percent finding that it means less time spent on hobbies.
Improvements employers could make: When asked what would help improve the commute of the UK workforce, the option of flexible working (51 percent), remote working (50 percent) and season-ticket loans from employers (24 percent) were top of the list. Despite this, less than a third of respondents are currently offered these particular benefits by their employers.
Attracting top talent: When looking for a new job, more than ¾ of people stated that the length of commute door-to-door was an ‘important’ or ‘very important factor’, and over half (58 percent) of respondents indicated that the proximity of the office to a transport hub was an important factor in their choice of employer.