Counting the cost of the commute

Employees who have been working from home since the start of the pandemic are saving an average of £58 per week in commuting costs – a sum equivalent to more than £3,000 a year in London alone.

Researchers found that the average employee spent up to 98 minutes a day commuting amounting to 39 days a year – and that 57 per cent want an office closer to their home.

These factors, along with the greater work-life balance most office workers have enjoyed during Covid-19, means there is an increasing pressure on businesses to bring change and agility to workplace culture.

Corporate headquarters are expected to shrink by up to 40 per cent as employees demand a more hybrid approach – a combination of having a head office used for collaboration where teams can connect, working from home and having access to a space closer to home.

There are also significant cost savings for businesses, saving upwards of 23 per cent simply by taking a ‘rightsize’ approach, according to the findings from workspace company The Instant Group and site location specialists HICKEY.

“As the UK starts to come out of lockdown, employees will be demanding more choice and flexibility around how they work,” said John Duckworth, Managing Director of the Instant Group UK and EMEA.

“For many companies, this is going to require a complete shift in mindset, but those that move quickly will reap the benefits. Employees want a different office model now, focused more on agility in the way they work and this will create a real unique selling point in the war for talent.

 “Leasing workspace is one of the highest costs for most companies, after salaries. Adopting a more agile approach comes with the cost savings highlighted but it also drives benefits for staff including reduced commute times and costs and increased wellness and productivity. There will always be a place for the office, it’s not going anywhere, but the purpose of it is going to change.”

More on the research here