The real cost of commuting
A long or disrupted journey to work can seem depressing, and now research suggest a real connection with our mental health. In fact, workers with longer commutes are 33% more likely to suffer from depression, according to a report by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Index. The research also found that workers with a commute taking less than half an hour gained seven days’ more productive time per year compared to those with commutes of 60 minutes or more.
A longer commute is associated with stress, higher blood pressure and BMI – partly because you have less time to create good eating habits and take exercise. Commuting also disrupts your sleep. In addition, poor moods created by the daily commute can have a negative effect on your relationships at home.
The average London commute is around 74 minutes, and with travel conditions predicted to become worse, many Londoners are trying to find ways to cope.
In theory, technology allows us to work anywhere. Yet as recruiters we are big advocates for collaborative teamwork, and many of our clients still insist their people attend the office five days per week and travel at peak times.
Yet it does seem that the tide is turning. The property market is responding to the growing demand for affordable city living. The fast rise of The Office Group; WeWork and Regus shows that businesses are becoming more agile and avoiding long leases and large office space. The Soho House Group has recently moved into shared workspaces and there is a notable trend in new, cooperative living space.
Our work at Russam connects us with those designing new infrastructure for smart cities, companies in the EV space and a forward thinking property technology entrepreneur. Our conversations with these clients give us hope for future generations who might not need face the daily commute.
In the meantime let’s take positive steps to combat commuter stress. We recommend downloading good podcasts, reading and walking as much as possible to offset some of the damage.