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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Commuting times rise for Women

Did you know that it's
Commute Smart Week? Me neither until today.  I also didn't know that apparently us women are seeing an increase in commuting times.  On average in London men spend 77.2 minutes on a daily commute to and from work, which is a slight reduction from 2006.  In the same time frame, women have seen average commuting times rise from 69.8 minutes a day to 72.8 minutes.

The TUC who collated the survey put this down to the recession with an increase of men in part time job: "Recent trends suggest there is a link between long commute times and longer hours in the office, with the growing number of men in part-time work having shorter journeys to work. This trend is concerning if it means part-time workers and those needing to balance work with caring responsibilities are being excluded from certain types of jobs."

Women on the Tube

I certainly agree on the points about long commute times and longer hours in the office. I was in the office until quite late last night and strangely enough on the Tube coming home, there were a whole row of women sitting opposite me, looking like they were also coming back from work and playing out the long commute research to the letter.

Even though London commuting times have fallen, we still have the highest commuting times in the country. The national average is 52.8 minutes, whereas the average London commute is 75 minutes.  The Welsh have the shortest average commuting time of 41.4 minutes.

The average commuter spends the equivalent of more than five weeks a year just to get to work and back. With rising transport costs far outstripping pay rises, reducing the number of peak-time commutes would save both time and money for hard-pressed workers." said TUC secretary Brendan Barber.

I actually thought my commute was particularly long, but it appears that I'm average at 75 minutes.  Not that it makes me feel a lot better, but it does explain why so many people do look really knackered on the London Underground and that falling asleep too and from work is a common occurance (if you're lucky enough to get a seat).  I certainly think that the daily grind of a long commute means there's a case for employers to be more flexible on where and when people work.

Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said "Commute Smart week provides a real opportunity to revise tired working practises, how and where people work and set about adopting flexible approaches to people management as a key component of effective change."

How does your commuting time compare with the averages given above?

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