2016 was widely reported as an annus horribillis for UK commuters with strikes, faults, delays and rising prices combining to create a perfect storm of frustration and misery. This year it appears the tipping point has been reached, with almost three in five workers in the consultancy sector re-thinking travel arrangements for the coming months, according to new research from global workspace provider Regus.
The survey shows that 59% of consultancy workers are looking to ‘work remotely in order to improve their travel schedule’.
Recent reports 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.
According to Richard Morris, UK CEO Regus, these factors are leading commuters to question the logic of traditional working practices.
Morris comments: “The commute has rarely been a joyful experience but last year 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.
“The survey tells us that workers in the consultancy sector are no longer willing to accept the stress and expense of the commute and are looking at flexible working solutions that enable them to gain this time back, work nearer to home and enhance productivity.
“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. With almost three fifths of workers in the sector thinking this way, this year looks set to herald the beginning of the end for the out-dated, costly and time-consuming journey to one fixed place of work.”