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UK stuck on the commuting highway

New research published by global workspace provider Regus, which coincides with National Work Life Week – reveals that the average British one-way commute is now nearly half an hour (29.6 minutes) compared to 26 minutes two years ago.

A quarter of the 3,600 business people canvassed in the research said that their journey to work took between thirty and sixty minutes, with 15 per cent regularly travelling for over an hour each way. Employees in large firms appear to endure the longest commutes, clocking up a one-way average of 39 minutes.

This is despite all the evidence that shorter commuting times boost employee productivity, motivation and work-life balance.

Commuting is often linked to the persistence of presenteeism in the British workplace. In a previous study by Regus, only two fifths of employees in large firms said that managers in their company are being recognised and rewarded for encouraging flexible working, compared to just over half in small firms.  Similarly, nearly eight out 10 respondents in large firms, and seven out of 10 in SMEs, agreed that managers are most likely to consider employees arriving early and leaving late as the most hard-working.

Steve Purdy, managing director at Regus, commented:

National Work Life Week and Wednesday’s Go Home on Time Day provide an ideal opportunity for employers to encourage healthier working practices that benefit all staff, not just working parents.

“Cutting lengthy journeys to work should be top priority for any work-life balance initiative, which means offering staff a choice in where and when they work. Our experience of helping firms harness flexible workspace that promotes a more modern attitude to work shows that there are many organisational and practical challenges to address too – but the rewards are substantial.”

Previous research from Regus has shown that over two fifths of flexible workers put in longer hours when they don’t have to commute every day, highlighting the link between flexible working and productivity.

National Work Life Week takes place 22 – 26 September 2014. Tomorrow (Wednesday 24 September) is Go Home on Time Day, Friday 26 September is Flexible Friday. For further information, please click here.

About Sarah OBeirne

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