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UK commuters wasting 4.6 million hours every day

Home workers can be more productive, survey finds

By Steve Evans

UK workers are wasting a massive 4.6 million hours every day on their commute to and from the office, according to new research from Citrix GoToMyPc, released to coincide with National Commute Smart Week.

The survey quizzed nearly 2,000 adults across the UK and found that 62% of office workers want to reduce the amount of time they spend travelling to and from work. The biggest frustrations included being stuck in traffic (42%), issues with public transport (38%), travelling in the dark (36%) and cost (30%).

The report also examined what commuters would do to reduce the 26 million hours day they spend commuting. Home working (34%) was the most popular answer, followed by varying start and finish times (22%) and using technology to enable flexible and remote working (32%).

Despite this, many feel that there are barriers in the way of change, even if the changes result in greater productivity. Nearly half (46%) said that their bosses would ban working from home or resist more flexible hours.

“Bosses who insist that people all go to work at the same time and stick to a set routine are actually weakening their business. That’s because people generally don’t like being told how to run their life; they feel their boss is controlling them and therefore are actually less motivated,” said Internet Psychologist Graham Jones. “Using the Internet, for instance, to gain increased flexibility means that motivation levels in office staff could rise as people feel more in control of their own destiny.

As well as benefiting the company by being more productive, workers with a more flexible approach also feel that it would benefit their personal life. Over a third (35%) of commuters said they would the time saved by not commuting to the office to spend more time with family, 31% would take more exercise, 22% would make healthier meals, and 21% would take up a new hobby or join an evening class.

The report was put together by Work Wise UK to coincide with National Commute Smart Week, which aims to get workers to reduce or even eliminate their daily commute, improving health, wellbeing and productivity.

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“Commute Smart week is all about looking at ways that UK workers can improve their work-life balance by reducing the strain and stress caused by commuting,” said Phil Flaxton, CEO at Work Wise UK. “The GoToMyPC survey reveals there is a lot of frustration amongst British workers that could easily be reduced if more businesses adopted and embraced smarter working practices.”


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