Do you spend hours every day commuting to and from work? If so, you’re not alone. The average British worker spends over 200 hours a year commuting. That’s the equivalent of almost 5 whole weeks every year spent just getting to and from the office!
The average cost of motoring has been calculated at 49p per mile. That means that if you live a modest five miles from the office and work five days a week, over the course of a year you will spend around £1,274 per year!
It’s incredible how the cost of the commute mounts up over time and eats into your pay packet!
What if I told you that there was a way to improve your health and spend less money by cutting out the commute? Working remotely could be the answer.
Here are 5 ways that working remotely can improve your health:
- Reduced stress levels
- Extra activity
- More productive
- More sleep
- Saving money
1. You’ll reduce your stress levels.
The commute to work is one of the most stressful things we do every day. In fact, a study published by Ford found that commuting to work is more stressful than going to the dentist.
So by working remotely, you can eliminate that commute and the stress that comes with it. And that’s good for your health. No more being an hour late for work because of a delayed train or sitting in traffic for hours. You can say goodbye to your commute and hello to a healthier lifestyle.
Breakfast: the most important meal of the day
By having a little extra time in the morning you may find time to make yourself a healthy breakfast which in turn helps to reduce stress. By having a source of slow burning energy in the morning, you may find that your mood is more consistent and that you are able to deal with stressful situations
Rather than heading by the nearest drive through for an unhealthy breakfast on the commute into work, you could prepare yourself some healthy oats, eggs or fruit salad which will give you energy and help keep you fuelled for the morning. You’ll find the benefits of a good breakfast long into your working morning.
2. You’ll be more active.
On average public transport users commute for around
58 minutes each day. That’s a lot of time spent sitting down, which isn’t good for our health. If you live close enough to walk or cycle to work, then working remotely means you can ditch the car or public transport and get some much-needed exercise into your day.
You may also find that your commute time is far more predictable. When you’re on foot, you don’t need to deal with unexpected traffic jams and as such, your commute in will be far more consistent, allowing you to plan your morning better.
This leads to less stress, more time to enjoy morning and better mood overall. You may even discover things about your town or city that you didn’t know existed before!
One of the unexpected benefits of leaving the car at home!
Avoid rush hour and feel fitter!
Another benefit of walking or cycling to work is that you’ll feel the benefits through the entire day!
From getting the cardio in early in the day to not having the stress of finding a car parking space to getting a stress-busting walk home, you’ll notice that getting some brisk exercise will positively impact you in many different ways.
Even finding time to grab a fifteen minute stroll in place of your commute will elevate your mood, boost your creativity, and improve your memory. Regular exercise can also aid weight loss, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
There’s a good chance you’ll even get better sleep (but more on that later…)
3. You’ll be more productive.
When you eliminate commute time, you gain precious hours back in your day. And you can use that time to be more productive. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, telecommuters are actually 13% more productive than their office-bound counterparts.
You may even find that with a less stressful start to the morning you find yourself with extra energy to burn. A stroll in the morning in place of your drive has been found to improve your alertness and reduce your fatigue. You’ll be ready to hit the ground running from the start of the day!
Coworking, networking and inspiration
In a nearby coworking space you may find that you gain inspiration that you wouldn’t normally find in a standard office. A conversation over a cup of coffee in the business lounge may lead to a new contact or open the possibility for collaborative working. Networking becomes easier and as such new business can follow without too much effort.
By working in a building with so many different types of people and businesses, you may be able to gain a different perspective on your work.
4. You’ll get more sleep.
If you’re not spending hours commuting, you’ll have more time to sleep. And we all know how important a good night’s sleep is for our health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for seven or more hours of sleep per night.
The effects of a lack of sleep can be dramatic. From reduced focus and concentration, a lack of alertness and reduced productivity, weight gain and even an increased risk of a car accident, it’s vital that you start your day refreshed and ready to go.
Forget commuting, sleep better!
A study by Brandeis University for Sleep Health found that healthy adults experienced a better nights sleep when they increased their amount of walking through the day.
It was even suggested that adding a twenty minute stroll in your lunchbreak may be able to produce a positive effect at night. If you can walk to work then you may not need to do that!
By cutting your commute you can gain invaluable extra hours in bed in the morning. You’ll also get home earlier at night! So you can unwind and relax before bed instead of being stressed out from your commute. It’s a no brainer really…
5. You’ll save money.
Commuting can also take a toll on your wallet. The average British worker spends just under £2000 a year on commuting. That’s money that could go towards a gym membership, eating out, or vacations. Did someone say beach holiday?
By working remotely, you can save a fortune on things like petrol, car maintenance, and public transport costs. Plus let’s face it, no one enjoys sitting in morning traffic or being crammed in a hot train carriage like sardines. Working remotely can help you save money, improve your carbon footprint and make your commute a thing of the past!
The cost of the commute time
The average cost to run a car per mile in the UK is 49p per mile. That means if you live ten miles from the office you are spending the best part of £50 per week! It may be a lot cheaper to find a nearby coworking space to work from than to commute every day.
By working closer to home you may even find yourself saving in some other unexpected ways. Spending a fortune a week on a dog walker? That’s one cost you can eliminate if you can use your lunchbreak for that. Spending the best part of a fiver in your local coffee drive through each morning to get going? Take your own coffee in (or drink ours!).
If you have more than one car in the household then you may be able to cut back. Think about how much money that could save!
Remote working is a very easy way to not only have more money in your pocket but also to have extra free time to enjoy it.
The Benefits of a healthy workforce
A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. By encouraging your employees to work remotely, you can create a healthier and more productive workplace. And that’s good for business.
It is increasingly being recognised by employers that a healthy workforce has its benefits to the company too; in fact, a recent study by the University of Manchester found that for every £100 spent on workplace health interventions, there was an average return of £160 to the employer.
MHA studies show that 73% of those polled have round trip commutes of one hour or more, and 71% of those polled would like to work remotely to reduce commute related stress. Work related stress has been found to increase absenteeism, lower productivity, increase staff turnover, low morale and poor time keeping.
It’s not just staff that benefit from a reduced commuting time but the business overall; by offering better work life balance, favourable working conditions, lower costs and a more relaxed working day, you are looking after the efficiency and productivity of your business as well as protecting your talent base for years to come.
The Future of Work
We are running into a new era of hypermobility which is being fuelled by technology. It is now easier than ever to work remotely, and more and more people are doing so.
In fact, a study by Forbes found that 43% of employed Americans said they would like to work remotely all the time. 36% said they would be willing to take a pay cut to do so. Employers who embrace flexible working may find themselves keeping and attracting the best staff.
With the UK having pledged to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a switch to flexible working where possible would be considered a ‘low hanging fruit’ in terms of reducing our carbon footprint.
With modern technology and with coworking spaces becoming more common, it is getting easier and easier to allow employees to work remotely or in a hybrid fashion. The aforementioned studies suggest that they would not find much resistance in the workforce if they were to implement this.
It’s also possible that you may be able to work out of a smaller office space by embracing and enabling hybrid working. The cost per desk in terms of operating costs can be eye watering. Not only could you cut back on this but also the cost of heating, powering and maintaining the office could be ripe for reduction as well.
Reduce your commute
If you can’t cut your commute completely, there are still things you can do to reduce it. See if your employer would be open to you working from home one or two days a week. Alternatively see if there’s any way you can shorten your commute by moving closer to work or working from a local business centre.
If you’ve been working from home and missing the morning conversation but also don’t want to make the full commute then a coworking space may also be the perfect middle ground. You’ll be able to find your own space to do your work but with the added benefit of company and also tea and coffee to hand when you need to take a break.
It’s a huge added bonus that by working within a walking distance can not only improve your fitness but your mood and general overall health. Even if you aren’t quite up for walking every morning, you may find that you save enough time to enjoy a healthier breakfast. In turn that will help set you up for the working day that little bit better.
So there you have it, five ways that working remotely can improve your health, wealth and happiness. So next time you’re stuck in traffic or squashed on the train, think about how working remotely could be the answer to a healthier, happier you.