Search Results for: commuters

How we travel to work has enormous impact on wellbeing, claims new research

wellbeing and cycling

Part of London’s planned cycling infrastructure around Parliament Square

New research has further highlighted the important role that the mode of transport we choose to get work has on our physical and psychological wellbeing. Walking or cycling to work is better for people’s mental health than driving to work, according to the research by health economists at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR). The report ‘Does active commuting improve psychological wellbeing?’ was published today in the journal Preventive Medicine and draws on 18 years of data from 18,000 people. It follows on the heels of two other reports published last month in the British Medical Journal and Science Direct which make related claims about the careful choices we should make about how we get to work.

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Mode of transport when commuting determines health and happiness

CommutingNew research published in the British Medical Journal last week has confirmed the perhaps obvious fact that people who drive to work are generally less healthy and more overweight than those who get to work in other ways. More surprisingly, the report also found that using public transport to commute may be just as beneficial to healthy as cycling. The report suggests that with nearly 24 million people regularly commuting to work each day in England and Wales, its results based long term research with a sample of 16,000 people should have significant implications for Government infrastructure policy, urban design and individual workplace policies. “Policies designed to effect a population-level modal shift to more active modes of work commuting therefore present major opportunities for public health improvement”, it concludes.

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Keeping remote employees motivated is key to successful flexible working culture

Flexible working has barely been out of the news since the latest government changes. But while allowing employees to work remotely can do wonders for staff retention, motivating them and keeping them in the loop presents a new problem. Although self-starting employees feel that they have more control over their work and fewer distractions, it can also lead to a sense of isolation. It is important for retention that you not just offer a flexible working option to employees, but that all the staff make an effort to continue allowing them to feel like a part of the team. The four best practices that will help you motivate employees that telecommute are: ensuring you build trust between those who telecommute and their colleagues from the start; establish regular communication between remote and in-office staff; manage goals, expectations and outcomes and take steps to establish that remote working is made part of the company culture. More →

Flexible working constrained by failure to incentivise off-peak travel, claims Government report

Could flexible working helpNew research from the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed how a simple change in the price structure of rail tickets could allow increased flexible working and better manage the current rush hour crush on public transport. The study, carried out by IFF Research, claims that two thirds of organisations could increase the scope for flexible working if the price of off-peak season tickets were reduced. The report claims that, at present, employers have little or no incentive to accommodate more flexible working but that if the cost of travel was reduced outside of peak travel times so that commuters felt a significant financial benefit, then two-thirds of the organisations that took part in the study, ‘felt that they would be able to accommodate at least some staff travelling to work avoiding the centre of the peak’.

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A rail network carrying people on blurred lines into the future of work

Office Group PaddingtonThe UK rail industry has a somewhat ambiguous relationship with the idea of remote working. While the business case for the controversial HS2 rail line was until recently predicated on the remarkable assumption that people don’t work on trains (now replaced by another set of assumptions to get to the numbers it needs for politicians to go along with it all), the number of journeys people make on trains has been increasing steadily for some time, regardless of the potential for technology to make many of those journeys unnecessary. So while we’re already into uncharted territory in our ability to forecast the impact of new technology and working practices on the need for physical presence, the train and the rail network  does offer us a touchstone for thinking about it. And what we find in that respect is a blurring of the lines between several worlds, as we do in pretty much every aspect of our lives.

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Why do we bother going to work? Good question.

CommutingWhile the UK Government continues to explore new ways of getting people back to work more quickly following (or even during) illness, there are a number of counterpart questions that they continue to fastidiously ignore, one of which is ‘why bother?’. We might all ask ourselves that from time to time, whether petulantly or as a pressure-relieving alternative to ramming a co-worker’s head through a window or a laptop in a dumpster. But there are also reasons to raise the question coldly, rationally and with full awareness of all the facts, not least when it comes to assessing the increasing cost of going to work in the first place. Put simply, for many people it makes little or no financial sense to go to work.

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Driving home for Christmas? Forget Chris Rea and try Sigur Ros

Driving home for Christmas? Forget Chris Rea and try Sigur Ros

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Six in ten commuters travel by car. This was the finding of a survey conducted by the RAC earlier this month. Inevitably a busier road leads to congestion, and therefore stress. It’s no shock to learn, according to a Sky News report, that almost half of British drivers claim to have been involved in some form, with road rage. In fact, Britain is the shamed ‘winner’ of the highest road rage (Daily Mail), a surprising truth for such a stereotypically polite-prone nation. Road rage is a worrying occurrence – both for stress levels – but also for road safety. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents attributed ‘aggressive driving’ to the deaths of 122 and the serious injury of almost 1,000 in 2011. It goes without saying, that lowering these high-stress experiences for drivers is a necessity.

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Rail fares and grind make London based staff yearn for flexible working, claims survey

London commutersPerhaps one of the least talked about factors driving the uptake of flexible working in the UK is the cost of getting into work. But a new survey commissioned by Citrix of 500 commuters in the capital claims that more than a fifth (22 percent) of London based employees are considering a job outside the city following the latest above-inflation increase in fares although the majority of the want-aways (79 percent) would stay in their current job if they could work from home at least once a week. Just under half (45 percent) would like their employer to offer flexible working, 58 percent feel they would be more productive if they didn’t have to commute, and 62 percent felt that flexible working would improve their quality of life. Ed: For those of us who already work outside London but get the occasional glimpse of the horror of commuting, those numbers are bafflingly low. 

Planning permission granted for development at East London Crossrail site

Poplar Business ParkPlanning permission has been granted for a mixed use scheme including 58,000 sq. ft. of office space at the Poplar Business Park next to the new Crossrail station just North of Canary Wharf in East London. Crossrail is the South East’s most important infrastructure project linking commuters in the Home Counties and Essex with central London and will complete in 2018. Jamie Hopkins, the CEO of developers Workspace claimed, “It is a significant redevelopment in an area that will be experiencing a lot of change over the coming years with the arrival of Crossrail at Canary Wharf.  Poplar Business Park will be a thriving residential and business location in the heart of one of London’s future hotspots.”

Working on daily commute is on the increase survey finds

Working while commuting is on the increase survey finds

As argued on this site today, many people prefer to work while commuting and research published today supports this view. A survey of over 2,000 British workers by recruiter Randstad reveals the number of employees who work while they commute rose from 4.8 per cent in 2008 to 7.5 per cent in 2013. There’s also been a big rise in the number of “extreme commuters” – those travelling more than 90 minutes each way – which has increased by 50 per cent, from just over one in twenty (6 per cent), to almost one in ten (9 per cent). However, while 18 per cent of British workers feel that the development of smartphones and tablets has made it easier for them to work while they travel, – one in ten (9.2 per cent) say that new technology has increased the pressure on them to get work done on their journey to and from work. More →

Homeworkers happier but more at risk from poor ergonomics

Flexible workingAmidst all the controversy over flexible working raised by the infamous Yahoo homeworking ban comes US research revealing homeworking policies lead to happier employers and employees. 93 percent of employees surveyed by Staples Advantage agree that telecommuting programs are mutually beneficial, and more than half 53 percent of business decision makers said telecommuting leads to more productive employees. However, the survey also reveals that 48 per cent of telecommuters use furniture or technology that is not ergonomically adjusted for them, which can lead to discomfort, loss of productivity or injury. More →