Should commuting time be part of the working day?

Do we all need to rethink our approach to commuting?

It’s almost a year since we asked how you felt about your commute. Then, the news explored the cost of travelling to and from work (both in terms of time and money). Employees also said they would leave their jobs in order to obtain a shorter commute.

So how have things changed since then?

Your commute could become part of your regular working day…

This research has been conducted by the nearby University of the West of England. On surveying 5,000 rail users commuting into London, they found:

  • Many people are using their pre-work journey to manage emails before they arrive at work.
  • The homeward journey offers a ‘catch-up’ opportunity for any tasks not tackled in time.
  • This activity has become more common as Wi-Fi accessibility has improved.

The mental and/or emotional benefits of train-based work also become clearer. Words such as ‘rely’, ‘important’, ‘sanity’, ‘buffer’ and ‘clear’ illustrate the value of this commuting time for employees.

Before we all agree that train journeys should automatically become part of the normal working day, it’s important to weigh up the prospective benefits and pitfalls. This should also encompass the technological, security, legal, and regulatory commitments required, of course.

Personnel Today shares some interesting commentary on these aspects.

Avoiding commuting is the main reason to work from home

Avoiding a commute is one of the primary motivators to work from home; both for those that already do so (51%) and those who are office-based (64%). Compiling the findings from both groups took this motivation to the top of the results chart.

This narrowly pipped flexible working opportunities (45% for home workers and 50% for the office-based employees). Being able to dress as you wish and undertake your work without interruption also proved popular responses.

Interestingly, 73% of non-home workers are potentially tempted to work from home in future.

How things have changed…

It doesn’t appear that employees’ attitudes towards commuting have changed greatly over the past year. For many, it is something to endure or avoid. However, a growing group clearly finds some working benefits. Time will reveal how these findings shape our future working culture.

We’re also interested to hear your thoughts and experiences via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

If your commute has been getting you down for far too long, you may want to review the latest jobs listings!