The average British worker is spending over eleven weeks a year commuting to and from their work place, rising significantly over the past 10 years despite increased opportunities to work remotely, according to new research.
The findings from space management software company, Cloudbooking utilises the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that commuting journeys are on the increase.
“Back in 2003, the average UK commute was 45 minutes, today it is 54 minutes,” said Gerry Brennan, CEO of Cloudbooking.
“Despite advancements in working from home the ONS stats show that 87% of the UK’s workforce carry out their duties at their employers premises.
“Until now no one has worked out what this really means in terms of lost productivity. And our calculations are based on 4 weeks holiday a year and the 37.5 hour standard working week.
Mr Brennan said it was the duty of employers and the new government to work together to promote the benefits of remote working.
“Research by Stanford University in the US has shown that remote workers are 13% more productive and take fewer sick days than their commuting colleagues,” added the Cloudbooking CEO, who has CIMA, Lloyds Banking Group and GE Healthcare as some of their clients.
“We can only begin to scratch the surface at the moment if this working revolution were to be properly embraced,” he added. “The costs of road maintenance and transport immediately spring to mind.
“Also, with extra time to devote to family life, or pursue other interests like exercise, the impact of working from home is worth a truly vast sum to our economy.
He added that a lack of trust and understanding of how to manage a remote workforce were the reason that the practice isn’t more widespread.
“A report by Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster Universtity Management School has highlighted this,” he added.
“We at Cloudbooking believe managers need to assess a homeworker on their results and not how long they are at work,” he said.
Mr Brennan’s comments come shortly after Richard Branson announced he would be giving his Virgin employees’ unlimited vacation. Evernote and Netflix, two very successful newer companies are doing likewise.
“All good companies know success is about results not how long an employee is at their desk,” added Mr Brennan.
“It’s a sea change of opinion that is slow, but I think in a century’s time future generations will look at what life was like in 2015, and wonder why were we all sitting on the M25.”