Is the daily commute hampering workplace productivity?

by L&D29 Sep 2016
Lack of sleep, chatty colleagues and not taking breaks are just some of the usual suspects blamed for poor productivity. However, new research suggests there is another culprit.

Indeed, Australian business people see their daily trip into and out of the office as a drain on productivity, according to the workspace provider Regus.

Standing on the bus or sitting in the car is commonly seen as neither productive work time, nor enjoyable personal time, and is widely regarded as “an obstacle to more useful or entertaining pursuits”.

In fact, almost 40% of the 425 respondents report it is a pointless, undefined time, while 26% positively hate their commute and brand it as a ‘waste’ of their precious time.

This means that for well over half of business people in Australia, commute time could be re-invested in more productive work time or in enjoying a few hours more sleep in the morning. 

John Henderson, CEO of Regus Australia and New Zealand, said that as commute times become longer, it is “devastating to find that the vast majority of workers regard their daily travel into work and back home as a complete drain on their work day productivity”.

It’s also sad that they are unable to devote this time to personal or leisure activities, he added.

“Business people in Australia are expected to always be available and connected, but in reality there is a much bigger and subtler drain on their productivity than not having a smartphone on hand, and that is the daily commute,” said Henderson.

“Savvy businesses wanting to restore productivity and reward workers with more personal time or simply with a lie-in every once in a while, would do well to allow employees to work closer to home at least some of the time.”

Among the findings of the survey were that:

Only a minority of business people (17%) regard commuting as profitable work time with the majority declaring it is a drain on work and personal time;

It is therefore time that businesses call it quits with commuting and help workers save time to re-invest in productive work or leisure;

A small minority (17%) regard their commute as personal time, perhaps as they are able to read and catch up on the latest news on their smartphone.

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