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One in Seven Brits are excited about returning to the Office

Real Business Rescue has surveyed 1,000 working Brits to uncover their thoughts and feelings on returning to work following the pandemic, from the activities associated with commuting that they’re looking forward to, to the regions and industries missing the commute the most.

Real Business Rescue has surveyed 1,000 Brits who either currently commute to work or used to commute to uncover their thoughts and feelings on the return to the office, revealing just one in seven Brits are excited about going back.

For decades the commute has been a necessary part of our working day, with working from home something of a rarity until the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK early in 2020.

But in recent months, many businesses have welcomed employees back to the workplace as we collectively try to find the right balance in living with Covid-19. For millions of people, this has meant the return of the work commute.

Real Business Rescue has surveyed over 1,000 people who either currently commute to work or used to commute before the pandemic, asking them what they’d missed most about their journey into work.

The survey reveals almost double the number of Brits are excited to return to the office – with almost one in seven agreeing (13%) – than those who want to continue working from home (7%).

Despite almost one in seven (13%) looking forward to getting back to the office, commuting may not be the favourite part of office life for most workers, with only one in 12 (8%) Brits agreeing that they’d missed commuting whilst working from home.

Top 10 things workers are looking forward to the most as commuting returns

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The commute isn’t just about getting to work, there are plenty of aspects to the journey that commuters enjoy.

Rank Favourite thing about commuting % of people who enjoyed this the most
1 Listening to music 35.2%
2 Driving 32%
3 Separating work from home 20.2%
4 Morning tea or coffee 19%
5 Exercise 15.1%
6 ‘Me time’ 13.7%
7 Getting up early 11.4%
8 Listening to a podcast or audiobook 10.7%
9 Shops and stores 10.2%
10 Reading a book 9.1%

 

More than a third (35%) said their favourite part of their commute was being able to listen to music. 32% enjoy their drive, and one in five (20%) like being able to separate their work and home life.

This suggests that workers do enjoy the additional aspects that the journey brings to their everyday routines, and for some, it could be the only chance they get to enjoy their chosen media during the day.

Meanwhile, 15% use their commute as an excuse to get some exercise, and just 9% take the time to catch up on their reading.

Despite having the longest commute time, people from Greater London are most likely to miss their commute while working from home.

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17% of workers living in Greater London admitted they miss commuting when they work from home, despite having the longest average commute time – a mammoth 58 minutes.

Second, and less than half of those in Greater London, are workers in the North West, where just 8% said they miss the commute and had an average commute time of 45 minutes. In third is the South East at 8%, with an average commute time of 53 minutes.

Rank Region Average length of daily commute % who miss their commute while working from home
1 Greater London 58 16.7%
2 North West 45 8.2%
3 South East 53 7.9%
4 West Midlands 40 7.4%
5 Yorkshire and the Humber 44 6.7%

 

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The industries that have missed commuting to work the most

12% of those in the travel and transport industry missed commuting, which is more than any other industry and proof that those in the industry have a clear affinity for what they do.

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In joint second are the IT & telecoms and finance sectors, with 11% having missed their journey to the workplace.

Those who missed their commute the least whilst working from home are those in the education (4.4%), healthcare (4%) and manufacturing and utilities (3.7%) sectors.

Rank Industry % who miss their commute while working from home
1 Travel and transport 12.1%
2 IT & telecoms 10.7%
3 Finance 10.7%
4 Retail, catering & leisure 7.4%

 

Commenting on the research, Shaun Barton, National Online Business Operations Director at Real Business Rescue:

“Our study goes to show that the commute isn’t just about how people get to work. There are many parts of the journey that employees are missing, like the separation between work and home and getting more ‘me time’ into their day which is so important for their health and wellbeing.“

“With the longest commuting time of 58 minutes on average, those in Greater London told us that they miss their commute most. This shows that the length of time taken to get to work doesn’t always mean negativity towards the journey, in fact, some are craving it.”

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