Half of commuters plan for flexible working increase in 2017

Half of commuters are looking to ‘work remotely in order to improve their travel schedule’, a new study reveals.

2016 has been 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. Now it appears the tipping point has been reached, with over half of all workers re-thinking travel arrangements to accommodate flexible working for 2017, according to new research from Regus.

The survey, conducted amongst 1700 UK professionals, shows that 58 per cent of 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 finds 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.

The cost of commuting is also set to rise with the announcement that train fares will increase by an average of 2.3 per cent from January 2017.

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 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.

‘The survey tells us that workers 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.

He concludes, ‘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, flexible working approach to the working day makes perfect sense. With over half of all workers thinking this way, 2017 looks set to herald the beginning of the end for the out-dated, costly and time-consuming journey to one fixed place of work.’

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Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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Flexible Working