Commuting to your job can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing which is made worse by almost the entire UK workforce traveling to and from work, in response to this issue, remote and flexible working have been offered as a solution to the commuting crisis.
It is estimated that 90 per cent of the UK workforce commutes to work, with the average commute lasting 80 minutes which adds up to six and a half hours a week spent traveling to work.
David Price, CEO of Health Assured, a wellbeing provider thinks the best way of combatting this problem is to offer remote and flexible working when possible.
Mr Price said:
Probably the best way—and a slightly overlooked one—is getting rid of the commute entirely. Well, not always entirely, but allowing workers a day per week to work from home is a help. Those who have to deal with the horrors of the school run will thank you from the bottom of their hearts, and those who travel hours each way will appreciate the potential for extra sleep.
If remote working isn’t possible, then consider flexible working. One of the biggest stressors caused by commuting is the sheer number of people vying for space on trains and buses every morning. By letting people start and finish earlier or later, you’re making everybody’s life a little easier. Trains are far less full at 10 am—and there’ll be fewer people on the 8 am trains if they’re optional.
Statistics have shown that people who commute at least 25 minutes per day report lower health and satisfaction levels. As well as having a higher amount of GP appointments.
The ways in which commuting can affect your mental health:
- Can increase stress
- Can bring on bad eating habits
- Can reduce the time spent with family
- Can reduce physical activity
- Can reduce sleep
Mr Price explained that by reducing our physical activity and sleep, employees run a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.