People who commute by train to the UK’s largest cities outside London could save 55 hours a year – more than two whole days – if they were equipped to work from home just one day a week, according to research.
Based on commuters with 50-mile round trips, the average transit time soars in London to 111 hours – almost fourteen working days a year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, researchers found that London was the most expensive and time-consuming city to commute into, followed by Leeds and Bristol.
As petrol prices and rising public transport costs continue to bite into the family coffers, the benefits of homeworking as a means to enjoy better work/life balance, and improve morale and productivity are being further highlighted by Aastra, Europe’s largest enterprise communications provider.
Drivers with 20-mile round trips into the main cities outside London spend potentially an average of £12.62 a day on petrol and parking, totalling £2,953 a year and – baring delays – 48 minutes in transit daily.
Working from home just one day a week could save these commuters more than £590 over a year.
Michael Calvert, UK General Manager of Aastra, who commissioned the research, said:
“Commuting to work everyday can be a major strain on people’s finances and increase their stress levels. Given that many of the UK’s commuters – if equipped with the right, readily-available technology – could do their job equally well, if not better, from home, it’s a wonder why more firms are not enabling flexible working practices.”
Calvert said that firms would also benefit from allowing remote and flexible working citing lower real estate and energy costs, higher morale and increased staff retention that the practice offers.
“There needs to be a relationship built on trust to make remote or flexible working function effectively,” he said.
“It needs boardroom backing, with stringent policies in place to govern the security of data and deter abuse, plus of course it needs the right technology – Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones for cheaper, more effective communications, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for secure remote access.”
Other key findings from the study:
- Commuters with 20-mile round trips by train into the main UK cities outside London, could save 37 hours (four and a half working days) a year, by working from home just one day a week. In London this rises to 64 hours (eight working days) a year
- Workers travelling into and out of Reading and Birmingham enjoyed the most time efficient commutes
- Drivers travelling 25 miles into London could spend in excess of £7,946 each year just getting to work