Whilst a huge percentage of employees in the UK worked from home in 2020 and 2021, lots of businesses have now returned to the office and employees have started commuting again. Back in 2019, the average Londoner’s commute was 1 hour and 19 minutes, and when compared to other UK nations and regions, this is the longest commute time. It is no surprise that although most employees are happy to be back in the office, they aren’t happy about having to commute to and from work again several times a week.
Your employees’ daily commutes can actually have a significant impact on their performance and if your team is unproductive and unenthusiastic, the time they’ve spent travelling to work could be the reason why. As an employer, there are some things you can do to improve your employees’ commutes and it is often worthwhile dedicating some time and money to helping your team get to and from work.
How does commuting affect your employees?
Simply put, when your employees have a long or complicated commute, they will have to leave their houses earlier in the morning and this will extend their working day. A longer working day can result in them being more tired and this can have an impact on the work they’re producing. Your employees will also get home later in the evenings, giving them less time to rest and recharge before the next working day, and this can negatively affect their work-life balance.
The commutes your employees do on a day-to-day basis can influence everything from motivation to job satisfaction, and it will make more of a difference to things like retention rates than you may realise. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that many employees begrudge having to spend their hard-earned money on travelling to and from work too and with the cost of fuel rising, commutes will likely get more and more expensive over the upcoming months.
Ways to improve employees’ commutes
If your employees have mentioned that their commutes are exhausting and you’re wondering how you can improve them, below are some different ideas to consider.
Re-locate your office
When your office is inconvenient to get to, this will likely make your employees’ commutes longer and more expensive, and it may be worth relocating. Moving to an easily accessible location with good transport links will make your employees’ commutes more straightforward, and they won’t have to spend as much of their time travelling to and from work.
Finding a well-situated serviced office in London shouldn’t be difficult and often, office buildings are purposely built in areas that are easy to access by train or tube. If you decide to relocate, always take into consideration where your employees live and how long it will take them to get to your workspace. Whilst it can be difficult to please everyone when you’re choosing an office location, simply being a short walk from a tube station, for example, can make a big difference to the vast majority of employees’ commutes.
Pay travel expenses
As mentioned above, the cost of travelling is getting more and more expensive, and it can be beneficial to implement a travel expenses scheme. Reimbursing your employees for the cost of their fuel at a predetermined mileage rate or the cost of their train/tube ticket can make a big difference to how much they spend travelling to and from work.
Whilst paying your employees’ travel expenses won’t necessarily make a difference to the length or ease of their commute, it is a great way to show them that you appreciate them coming into the office. Not having to spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds on travel can help to improve things such as job satisfaction and employee loyalty, and in the long run, you can save money on recruiting costs.
Offer flexible working hours
If your company operates during standard business hours, 9 am until 5 pm, your employees will have to travel at peak times. This can have a significant impact on how long it takes them to get to work as well as how much their travel costs and how pleasant their journey is. Simply allowing your employees to work flexible hours can make a big difference to their commutes.
Flexible working is becoming more common in all industry sectors and lots of business owners are exploring the option of flexible hours, hybrid working and compressed workweeks. Giving your employees more flexibility will enable them to travel through central London at off-peak times and you can trust that this is something they will appreciate.
Lots of businesses are prioritising employee health and wellbeing, and when doing so, they’re introducing different incentive schemes including; cycle-to-work and walk-to-work schemes. There are so many different ways you can encourage employees to change the way they travel to and from work, and these incentives can be beneficial for several reasons.
Should you be considering relocating, why not rent an office that has secure bike racks, for example. This will encourage your team to participate in the incentive schemes you introduce and ideally, you should make it as easy as possible for your employees to start travelling in a way that’s better for both them and the environment.
Trying to find serviced offices in London?
Hopefully, the information above will be useful if you’re worried about your employees’ commutes and you can implement some changes that will improve their day-to-day travel experience. If you’re trying to find a serviced office in London that is situated somewhere with excellent transport routes, be sure to explore the several locations we have at One Avenue including Mayfair, Farringdon and Aldgate. Regardless of where you want to be located in London, it’s likely we will have the perfect office building for your business and your employees.
Here at One Avenue, we are passionate about creating workspaces that are a breath of fresh air. We pride ourselves on the quality of our private offices and our service levels, and we are known for providing outstanding hospitality. We understand the importance of having a well-situated office and our experienced team will be happy to help you choose which of our office buildings would best suit your needs.
Alice has over 10 years experience within the HR sector, understanding
changing demands of employees and creating strategies to attract and retain
employees, creating a productive and positive working environment.