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Average commute length up from two years ago

The data, which is released on the first day of National Work Life Week, shows that the average British one-way commute is now nearly half an hour (29.6 minutes) compared to 26 minutes two years ago.   

A quarter of the 3,600 business people canvassed in Regus’ research said that their journey to work took between 60 and 60 minutes, with 15% regularly travelling for over an hour each way.

Employees in large firms appear to endure the longest commutes, clocking up a one-way average of 39 minutes.

This is despite all the evidence that shorter commuting times boost employee productivity, motivation and work-life balance.

Regus added that commuting is often linked to the persistence of “presenteeism” in the British workplace. In a previous study, only two-fifths of employees in large firms told Regus that managers in their company are being recognised and rewarded for encouraging flexible working, compared to just over half in small firms. 

And nearly eight out of ten respondents in large firms, and seven out of ten in SMEs, agreed that managers are most likely to consider employees arriving early and leaving late as the most hard-working.

Steve Purdy, managing director at Regus, commented: ‘National Work Life Week and Wednesday’s Go Home on Time Day provide an ideal opportunity for employers to encourage healthier working practices that benefit all staff, not just working parents.

‘Cutting lengthy journeys to work should be top priority for any work–life balance initiative, which means offering staff a choice in where and when they work. Our experience of helping firms harness flexible workspace that promotes a more modern attitude to work shows that there are many organisational and practical challenges to address too – but the rewards are substantial.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.