Last month, the Office for National Statistics of the UK Statistics Authority conducted a study examining the relationship between people commuting to work and their personal well being, with the aim of identifying how time spent commuting and the method of travel affect life satisfaction, the sense that daily activities are worthwhile, and the levels of happiness and anxiety.
The research concluded that commuters, on average, have lower life satisfaction scores compared to those who telecommute for work. Commuters also have diminished sense of achievement with their daily activities and higher incidence of anxiety compared to non commuters.
Those with travel times lasting between 61 and 90 are the worst off. On average, all four aspects of personal well being mentioned earlier – life satisfaction, job satisfaction, levels of happiness and anxiety – were negatively affected by commutes of this duration when compared to those commuting only 15 minutes or less to work.
Given this data, it is a surprise that companies would still enforce stringent no work at home policies, when knowing that doing so can lead to lower employee satisfaction that can indirectly affect performance and productivity.
Commuting is a burden and in most cases it is shouldered entirely by the commuter. While some businesses do compensate individual commuters, more than half of the commuter population are not fully compensated, and a third do not feel a higher salary makes up for it.
And because time spent during commute is not always converted productively, almost all commuting lead to these hours being idle and doing nothing but wait until you arrive at your destination. This is due to the nature of certain modes of transportation that makes doing something in case you want to be productive next to impossible, i.e., being packed like sardines in a rail car or even problems reading inside a moving vehicle.
According to Staff.com, Sydney based online staffing site, one of the major reasons why work from home is a rising trend is because many have come to realize traveling in traffic to and from work each day is insane. To them, it is the future of work:
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