Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that many UK workers now spend two hours each day commuting – a figure which has only seen an upward trend in recent years.
According to the report, 3.7 million workers travel for two hours or longer every weekday, amounting to a staggering 20 days per year commuting.
Back in 2010, 2.8 million people made daily commutes of two hours or more, compared with 3.7 million today, according to the ONS’s Labour Force Survey.
Frances O’Grady of the Trades Union Congress, which published the figures, called on employers to do more to prevent “excessive” journeys. “Employers cannot turn a blind eye to this problem,” she said. “Long commutes eat into our family time and can be bad for our working lives too.”
However, it’s not just proximity to the office which is causing longer commutes. Increasing volumes of traffic and the high frequency of single-occupancy vehicles mean that for many workers, the commute takes longer than is necessary. What’s more, with 30% of urban traffic accounted by people just searching for car parking spaces, the problem is pronounced.
The survey, which is based on responses from nearly 90,000 workers and excludes those who work from home, found that:
Longer periods travelling to and from work have become an accepted part of many people’s daily routine, but it doesn’t need to be this way.
With smarter commuting, workers can spend less time travelling to and from work and more time doing the things they enjoy. What’s more, in a time where commuting is a drain on people’s income, commuters can actually dramatically reduce the costs associated with travelling to work.
Employers can also do more to solve the problem of financially-pressured, stressed employees by providing more sustainable solutions for employees travelling into work.
Faxi works with some of the UK’s largest organisations to provide corporate commuting solutions to vast employee bases. By offering a carpooling solution, employees can benefit from incentives such as priority and sometimes free car parking within close proximity to the office.
This reduces stress on individuals travelling to work as they will spend less time searching for a parking space off-site, spend less money on inflated parking charges, and significantly reduce the cost of their daily commute by at least halving it with another co-worker (or more).