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Research has found that travelling to and from work by train offers psychological benefits for both wellbeing and cognitive function as the rail industry encourages commuters to return.
Research conducted as part of the rail industry’s “Get Back on Track” campaign found that people are expecting improved mental health (48%), work-life balance (46%), productivity (46%), motivation (47%) and fitness (51%) as they head back to their workplace.
Seasonal and peak train journeys increased by 30% last week compared to August, as 77% of hybrid workers said they planned to return to their workplace.
At the start of the pandemic, those who began working from home (WFH) said they ate more snacks (50%), worked with the television on (33%) or spent more time on social media (26%).
But now, nearly half of these workers now find these things a hindrance to productivity. In line with this, 43% of hybrid workers admit to facing more distractions when WFH compared to just 29% in the workplace. The biggest distractions were cited as household admin (35%), cooking meals and taking food breaks (30%) and home deliveries (29%).
The research, conducted by Opinium this month, surveyed 3,001 UK adults in work and was demographically representative of the working population.
When delving deeper into the neuroscience of train travel, Joseph Devlin, professor of cognitive neuroscience at Univeristy College London, found that the distractions and additional tasks created as a result of working from home made it hard for people to focus, impaired their ability to learn and lowered their wellbeing.
Prof Devlin said: “The commute delineates boundaries between home and work-life and can be used to switch one off and transition to the other, which can have a positive impact on cognitive performance, wellbeing and productivity. Being able to escape the humdrum of the same environment gives your brain a wake-up ca