Vodafone's survey of 3,000 workers found that 82% must commute to work, with 16% spending more than an hour each day travelling. Less than half (48%) of those polled said they like their commute, while almost one in five (18%) reported that they hate it.
When it came to improving their commute, 30% cited the money saved by working closer to home; 71% said this would make them more productive.
Tony Bailey, head of regional business at Vodafone UK, said employers should ask themselves if an employee needs to make the journey in. “If you’re a business that doesn’t need its staff in the office, on the shop floor or at a set location every day do your workers need to commute?” he said. “Could they work in another location but still be present using video conferencing and collaborative applications?"
Bailey suggested technology may be the answer. “Could you equip your employees so that they are able to access their office systems wherever they are? Commuting may well have been a fixture for British workers over the last century, but technology now makes it possible to rethink how we bring people together virtually, and how we harness talent wherever people may be working,” he said.
“Previous research commissioned by Vodafone UK and conducted by LSE found that if workforce efficiencies with a focus on management, technology and flexibility were addressed, employers could see a rise in productivity by as much as 20%. This research also suggested a reduction in commuting time could have a generally positive impact on productivity; with flexible working practices offering benefits in terms of talent attraction and retention.
“We have the opportunity to explore new ways of keeping people connected and productive while making better use of their time,” he added. “Is now the time to get ready for a more flexible future?”