Working from home today or stuck on the motorway on the way to the office?
Figures show that the average yearly commute has increased by 10 hours since 2010. One in seven employees are now commuting for more than two hours a day, up by 900,000 since last year, according to figures from the Trades Union Congress.
Stagnant wages and soaring housing costs are blamed for pushing people further away from their jobs, while poor public transport links and a lack of investment in rail and road infrastructure push up journey times.
“Travelling to work can be unbearable,” says Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC.” Long commutes feel like wasted time, and clog up our transport networks. simply getting to work can itself be hard work.”
Over two thirds (35%) more women are spending two hours-plus on a commute than five years ago, compared to 29% of men. This may be because of the commute times going up for workers in traditionally female-dominated sectors such as education and health, and social care, says the TUC.
Finances and insurance are however, the sectors with the highest proportion of workers making long commutes, followed by mining and quarrying workers and information and communication workers.
However, as O’Grady says, Commute Smart Week (13-19 November) is an opportunity to talk about how we can make our journey to work better, shorter, or even eliminate it altogether.
Suggestions to encourage better, smarter working, include: lift-sharing, working from home, cycling to work schemes, flexible working hours and you can share your own ideas using the hashtag: #commutesmartweek
And for employers with employees who want to work from home, Rachel Farr, senior professional support lawyer from Taylor Wessing wrote a great piece for EmploymentSolicitor.com, about everything you need to know.