Higher anxiety & lower happiness levels: Could 2017 be the beginning of the end for the commute?
Over 50% of UK workers would like to increase the amount of time they are able to work flexibly in 2017, as commuting becomes unbearable. Train strikes, delays, and rising transport costs have all combined to this finding in a new survey from workspace firm Regus, conducted amongst almost 1,700 British professionals. The study has revealed that 2016 has come close to pushing people other the edge and that 58% of people regularly commuting to work would like to work remotely “in order to improve their travel schedule” next year.
One of the findings from the study tells us that the average UK commute takes between one hour and 90 minutes, with more than three million of the workforce regularly facing daily journeys to and from work of over two hours.
It was also suggested that commuting can have a negative impact on an individual’s health. The Regus research underlined the fact that commuters are often far less motivated, suffer from higher levels of anxiety and have a lower level of happiness than other workers.
With UK rail fares set to increase by 2.3 per cent on average from January 2017, flexible working will be seen as an increasingly attractive option for many.
UK CEO at Regus, Richard Morris, said that the country’s workforce was no longer willing to put up with the stresses and costs involved with commuting every day.
“[Workers] are looking at flexible working solutions that enable them to gain time back, work nearer to home and enhance productivity,” he added.
“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.”
All workers in the UK won the right to ask for flexible working from their employer in 2014, yet data published in May this year by Timewise found that just nine per cent of job vacancies, advertised as paying over £20,000, included any flexibility.
“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,” Morris went on to say.
“With over half of all workers thinking this way, 2017 looks set to herald the beginning of the end for outdated, costly and time-consuming journey to one fixed place of work.”