How Much Does Commuting Time Affect Your Employees – And What Can Employers Do About It?
There are very few people who enjoy their daily commute to work, and even fewer lucky enough to be able to walk to work. Luckily we have some ideas on how you can help your employees who struggle to get to work.
Commuting is surely the bane of everyone’s working life. For the public transport users it usually consists of stuffy carriages, questionable smells and at least a portion of standing for the journey.
For those who travel by car, the commute often involves busy roads and traffic jams – and that even when there aren’t road works taking place.
In 2016 the average commute length in London was 80.6 minutes, or just over an hour and a half. As a busy capital commuting is an unavoidable evil, but unfortunately it’s something that affects the rest of the country almost just as much.
And commuters know it too. UK workers said that a 20 minute increase in commuting time is as bad as taking a pay cut, which is why employers need to do everything they can for those struggling with a lengthy commute.
All that time wasted doesn’t even touch on the money spent on commuting. Those with longer commutes are also the ones spending more to travel. A report from Total Jobs revealed that commuters in the UK will spend over £135,000 on travel costs by the time they retire.
An online tool by Ford can even show your employees how bad their commuting life is in comparison to other people’s – even showing how many hours of movies you could have watched during your lifetime of commuting.
So just what can you, the employer, do to help?
The ideal situation for the majority of employees is to have an understanding boss who is happy for them to work a few days from home.
This will dramatically cut their commuting time and help them save some money – plus will break up the monotony of the week, so they’ll be able to approach their work with a fresh mind.
This isn’t a particularly revolutionary idea, with 4.2 million people in the UK having worked from home in 2015, it’s a perk that many business owners overlook.
Considering it’s predicted that 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely (at least for some of the week) by 2020, it’s definitely something that should be on your radar.
If you’re not able to offer remote working to your employees – perhaps if their job requires them to be in the office so they can take calls and deal directly with customers, then you might want to think about any flexible working options you can offer employees.
Flexible working allows your employees to avoid the dread of rush hour by coming into the office when it suits them – provided they cover their weekly number of hours.
This can help them balance their work and home life, as well as help them reduce the stress that comes with the rush hour commute.
If this is an option you’re able to offer it’s definitely worth considering. Not only could it help you employees have a better work life balance, but they’ll be happier and have more energy when they are at work.
If neither remote working nor flexible working are something that you’ll be able to offer your employees, you’ll definitely want to consider what commuting benefits you can offer.
This might include a discounted price of rail or bus pass, or free parking for those who drive.
Within this you may also want to consider if it’s worth you joining up to a Cycle to Work Scheme, which would encourage employees to get environmentally friendly and help them stay healthy.
What office perks do you put in place for your employees? Is remote working an option or something that you don’t think would work for your business? Leave your comments in the section below!