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Commuters could save an hour a week by changing their working hours

Commuters could save an hour a week by changing their working hours

Commuters could speed up their journeys by up to 10 miles per hour by starting and finishing work just one hour later or making other changes to their working hours, according to new Government research. The study by Highways England was carried out on a 9-mile-stretch of the M62 which links the M6 near Warrington to the M60 near Manchester. The route is used by 120,000 drivers every day and construction work is currently taking place to upgrade it to a smart motorway, increasing its capacity by a third. Commuters had previously faced speeds of just 36 miles per hour between 5pm and 6pm when almost 9,000 drivers take to the short section of motorway on their way home from work.

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Employers urged to err on the side of caution when the staff commute counts as work

Employers urged to err on the side of caution when the staff commute counts as work

A call for employers to pay staff for the time they spend emailing while commuting has opened up the debate on what constitutes working time for employees. Researchers from the University of the West of England who found that commuters used free Wi-Fi provision on their journey to and from work to ‘catch up’ with work emails, have argued this supported the argument that the commute be counted as work. Until now, there has been little research to evaluate the impact free Wi-Fi provision has had in the UK, despite government encouragement for companies to provide access on transport networks. Traditionally, the government has been more concerned about the benefits of free Wi-Fi for business travellers, but the research team believe that the impact on commuters may be more important. When the researchers looked to Scandinavia to see how commuting time could be measured differently, they found that in Norway some commuters are able to count travel time as part of their working day.

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UK commuters spend five times more on rail fares than European counterparts

UK commuters spend five times more on rail fares than European counterparts

British commuters face fresh rail fare increases as they return to work today (Tuesday), now spending up to 5 times as much of their salary on season tickets as passengers on the continent, according to new TUC research. Someone on an average salary travelling from Chelmsford to London will have to fork out 13 percent of their pay for season tickets (£381 a month). By contrast, comparable commutes would cost a mere 2 percent of the average salary in France, 3 percent in Italy, 4 percent in Germany, and 5 percent in Spain and Belgium. Meanwhile, the TUC claims that wages are set to grow by only 2.6 percent in 2018, while season tickets will go up by 3.6 percent – over a third faster than wages.

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Average worker now spends 27 working days a year commuting, finds TUC

Average worker now spends 27 working days a year commuting, finds TUC

Commuters are now facing an average 58-minute daily journey – the equivalent of 27 working days a year, according to a TUC analysis. Getting to and from work now takes an extra 5 minutes a day compared with a decade ago – the equivalent of an extra 20 hours a year spent on congested roads and packed trains. The number of workers facing very long commuting times (over 2 hours) has gone up by 34 percent over the last 10 years, with 3,291,012 now facing very long journeys. Rail commuters face the longest journeys, taking an average of 2 hours and 12 minutes every day – an increase of 4 minutes on the last decade. Drivers spend 52 minutes on the road to work and back (up by 4 minutes), while bus commuters must set aside 39 minutes a day (up by 7 minutes). Cyclists (43 minutes) and walkers (30 minutes) have the quickest daily journeys.

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Long commutes to work are as bad as a pay cut when it comes to happiness and wellbeing

Long commutes to work are as bad as a pay cut when it comes to happiness and wellbeing

A twenty minute increase in commuting time is as bad as a 19 per cent pay cut for job satisfaction, a study has found. The research by the University of the West of England found that every extra minute spent travelling to and from work reduces job and leisure time satisfaction, increases strain and worsens mental health.  The researchers conclude that more people should be allowed to work from home or should choose a new way of getting there. According to the study, every extra minute spent travelling reduced job satisfaction, created extra strain, worsened mental health and increased people’s chances of quitting. The study, based on analysis of 26,000 workers in England, found that people travelling by bus were more likely to feel the “negative impacts of longer commute times” than users of other transport and that employees who cycled or walked were among the most satisfied as they used commuting time as part of their “health-enhancing lifestyle”.

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Long commutes are major source of poor health and low productivity

Long commutes are major source of poor health and low productivity 0

Long hours spent commuting to work are some of the main causes of poor health and low productivity, according to a large-scale study from the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace index, a joint venture between insurer VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer. According to the study of more than 34,000 workers, people commuting less than half an hour each day to get to work gain an additional seven days’ worth of productive time each year compared with those with commutes of 60 minutes or more. Longer commutes also appear to have a significant impact on mental wellbeing, with workers who have a long commute 33 percent more likely to suffer from depression, 37 percent more likely to have financial concerns and 12 percent more likely to develop various forms work-related stress. These workers are also 46 percent more likely to get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night and 21 percent more likely to be obese. The research suggests that offering flexible working is the best way to mitigate the negative effects of commuting.

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US experiences huge increase in telecommuting since 2005, claims study

US experiences huge increase in telecommuting since 2005, claims study 0

FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics have published their 2017 State of Telecommuting in the US Employee Workforce report, which claims to be the most up-to-date and comprehensive data analysis available on the state of working from home in the United States. According to the study, the number of people telecommuting in the US increased by 115 percent between 2005 and 2015. Other key findings of the study include: 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time, up from 1.8 million in 2005 (a 115 percent increase since 2005); the average telecommuter is 46 years of age or older, has at least a bachelor’s degree, and earns a higher median salary than an in-office worker; roughly the same population of women and men telecommute; and in more than half of the top US metro areas telecommuting exceeds public transportation as the commute option of choice. The report’s definition of telecommuting refers to non-self-employed people who principally work from home at least half of the time.
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Long commutes cost firms a week’s worth of staff productivity each year

Long commutes cost firms a week’s worth of staff productivity each year 0

Long commutes are causing poor health and productivity outcomes for the UK’s employees, according to a study of more than 34,000 workers, developed by VitalityHealth in partnership with the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer, examined the impact of commuting as well as flexible and home working on employee health and productivity. The study found that employees commuting less than half an hour to get to work gain an additional seven days’ worth of productive time each year compared to those with commutes of 60 minutes or more. Longer commutes appear to have a significant impact on mental wellbeing, with longer-commuting workers 33 percent more likely to suffer from depression, 37 percent more likely to have financial concerns and 12 percent more likely to report multiple dimensions of work-related stress. These workers were also 46 percent more likely to get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night and 21 percent more likely to be obese.
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US telecommuting cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 3.6 million tons a year

US telecommuting cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 3.6 million tons a year 0

Ahead of Earth Day this Saturday, FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics have released new data on the environmental impact of the existing flexible workforce of ‘telecommuters’ in the US. Assuming they work from home around half of the time (2.5 days out of a 5 day working week), these flexible workers cut the distance travelled in cars by around 7.8 billion miles a year and the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by 3.6 million tons per year, according to the report. The study claims that the environmental impact of telecommuting is seen in a number of ways because commuting contributes greatly to driving, the second largest source of US greenhouse gas emissions, while company offices are a part of the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

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British workers reveal their pet peeves when commuting

British workers reveal their pet peeves when commuting 0

British workers have a range of pet peeves about their daily trip to work are unwilling to travel for more than 1 hour 14 minutes, even for their dream job, according to a survey of 1,002 UK adults, carried out by AllCarLeasing.co.uk, The study found that men are willing to travel up to 1 hour and 29 minutes to work in contrast to women who would prefer to travel for just 59. Londoners are willing to endure the longest commute at an hour and a half, while Manchester residents would be willing to commute just 23 minutes each day. When quizzed on the things that made commuting frustrating or annoying, respondents admitted that getting stuck in traffic infuriated them the most (63 percent). Other passengers not letting others off public transport before getting on (58 percent) and people playing loud music (55 percent) took the top three spots. Not standing to the right on escalators enraged 51 percent of commuters – this is purely a London thing – and taking up spare seats with feet or bags was found to be a big annoyance for 49 percent.

Commuting – stressful, annoying or just another opportunity?

Commuting – stressful, annoying or just another opportunity? 0

Unless you work at home you will have to commute to work in some form or another and for many people this part of the day can become such a negative factor it can impact on productivity, job satisfaction and even cause depression. However, what if we tried to look at commuting in a different light? What if we took a step back and attempted to turn all those wasted hours into something good and maybe even something productive? Depending on what source you read and when the study was done the average commute in the UK is between 50 minutes and 1 hour 38 minutes. This mean in any given working week most people are spending around 10 to 16 hours getting to and from work. If this amount of “down time” appeared during the working day business owners and managers would take it very seriously indeed. However, as the time falls outside of the employees work remit and essentially the company doesn’t need that person before and after work it is not discussed. The problem is, employees do feel like it is part of the working day and this leads to resentment, stress, fatigue and possible depression not to mention lower productivity.

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Commuting woe will drive uptake of flexible working in 2017, claims study

Commuting woe will drive uptake of flexible working in 2017, claims study 0

london-commuters-commutingAs 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.

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