December 13, 2016
As more rail strikes grip the South East of England, a new study from Regus suggests that commuters are increasingly frustrated by the sheer tedium and disruption of getting to work in the first place and would like to adopt more flexible working practices as a result. In a study of 1,700 UK professionals carried out by the serviced office provider, 58 percent of respondents said they are looking to ‘work remotely in order to improve their travel schedule’ next year. The study cites recent reports which estimate that today’s average UK commute takes anywhere from 55 to 90 minutes with more than 3 million workers regularly facing journeys of two hours plus to get to and from work. Research has found that the commute has a detrimental effect on wellbeing, with the Office of National Statistics reporting that commuters have lower life satisfaction, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety.
The cost of commuting is also set to rise with the announcement that train fares will increase by an average of 2.3 percent from January 2017. According to Richard Morris, UK CEO Regus, these factors are leading commuters to question the logic of traditional working practices. “The commute has rarely been a joyful experience but 2016 seems to have been particularly challenging for vast numbers of workers. Train problems have been well documented but the situation for those driving to and from the office is equally frustrating. The survey tells us that workers are no longer willing to accept the stress and expense of the commute and are looking at flexible working solutions that enable them to gain this time back, work nearer to home and enhance productivity.
“Whilst working flexibly won’t be a fit for every type of job there are millions of people across the UK for whom this more agile approach to the working day makes perfect sense. With over half of all workers thinking this way, 2017 looks set to herald the beginning of the end for the out-dated, costly and time-consuming journey to one fixed place of work.”