Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shedworking has brought commuting times down to 10 year low

The growth of shedworking and homeworking in general has helped to cut average commute times to a 10 year low of 47 minutes and 48 seconds per day, a TUC analysis of official figures reveals.

Using figures from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the TUC has calculated that £339 million worth of working time is spent travelling to and from work every day. The TUC analysis is published to coincide with Work Wise UK's Commute Smart week this week.

The TUC believes that the growth in shedworking and homeworking has been one of the reasons for the fall in commute times. Between 2006 and 2008, the number of people working from home increased by 291,000, accounting for more than half of employment growth during this period. TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
"After years of increasing journey times, it's great to see that the number of hours spent commuting to work is finally falling. UK employees already work some of the longest hours in Europe so it's doubly annoying to lose even more precious spare time stuck in traffic and packed on trains on the way to and from work.Our analysis shows that flexible and home working doesn't just benefit individuals and their employers. If more people are allowed to work from home we can make the daily commute shorter and more pleasant for everyone.We know there is still plenty of untapped demand for flexible and home working. And with commutes still costing a staggering £337 million of working time every day, there's plenty more money and hours that can be saved by smarter working practices."

Work Wise UK Chief Executive, Phil Flaxton added: "Thousands of employers are already seeing the benefits to themselves and their staff by implementing a smarter working policy. Apart from business and transport benefits, there are also environmental impacts of reducing the need to travel. The average commuter driving an average car, covering the average commute distance will produce almost one tonne of CO2 per person per year."
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