Let’s meet in the middle
Sadly, scientists haven’t yet worked out how to teleport. Until they do, commuting is a mandatory part of working life. Whether it’s on a train, in a car, on your bike or on your feet. Everyone commutes. And no matter how you occupy your commute time – podcasts, books, singing to Britney – it can still be a drag.
But it’s all worth it if you love the job you do. Yes, the commutes are long, but the payoff is better. At least, that’s the way it is at the moment. But year on year, the cost of commuting keeps rising. Journeys are getting longer as people travel further for work. The last thing you want is to burn out by lunch because you had to get up at the crack of dawn just to make it in for your 9am start. It’s time we took a fresh look at commuting.
In the UK, the average commute takes almost an hour. In the capital, it’s even longer. A London commute takes around 74 minutes door-to-door. Not only does commuting take up huge chunks of our time on a daily basis, it’s also draining.
Traveling to work is often seen as one of the most stressful parts of the workday. When you’re brain-dead, hungry and just want to be home, having your face in someone’s armpit for over an hour is the last thing you want. Even your favourite podcast can sometimes struggle to keep you in your happy place. The idea of getting back on a crowded train again the next day can make you dread going to work. If the time it takes to commute wasn’t enough, then cost might just be the icing on the cake.
Money money money
Travel in Britain is not cheap. In fact, our railways are the most expensive in Europe. An average monthly commute in the UK will cost you around £150. If it’s within London, you’re looking at spending around £300. That’s going to burn a hole in anyone’s pocket. And that’s just going to and from work. Then there’s travelling across a city or the country for meetings or staff training. It all contributes to the cost of working. But if the costs outweigh the payback, many wouldn’t question finding work closer to home.
Ditch the commute
It’s not surprising that commuters are becoming frustrated with their journeys to work. Hours spent on public transport. High fares that keep increasing. Unreliable services that never run on time. It can all make your day that bit more demanding and stressful, which can put you in a negative mind set. Cycling or walking to work can make your commuting experience more enjoyable and proactive as well as promoting a healthier mindset. But when you’re travelling long distances each day this is often not an option. However, there is a solution to help make your workweek more physically and mentally productive – flexible working.
The new way of working
Flexible working can answer a lot of commuting problems. By embracing less regimented work hours, companies can help make their employees’ journeys cheaper, easier and less taxing. Flexible hours can reduce the time spent commuting. Employees can travel outside of rush hour, travelling into and out of the office when it’s quieter. This can often mean cheaper travel fares by travelling at off-peak times and more peaceful journeys.
As well as flexible hours, companies can embrace remote working as a way to relieve the need for a permanent office space. Instead of an everyman-to-a-desk approach, offices can become places for meetings and staff training. A collection of desks for general use. Employees can instead opt to work from home, from a hotel, in a coffee shop or in coworking spaces. Whatever suits them and their lifestyle.
By using technology effectively, teams can stay connected by communicating and collaborating on projects online. This frees up the need for expensive office spaces and reduces commuting costs, cultivating a healthy work-life balances. By spending less time commuting and choosing hours that fit your different commitments, you can enjoy your free time and work equally. You should define your work schedule; don’t let it define you.
Moving to flexible and remote working doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the office completely. Having a permanent base for your company is still really important – everyone needs a HQ. Huge benefits are still to be had by having a place to go where you can collaborate, brainstorm and catch up with colleagues. Even so, by reducing the need for everyone to be in the office at once, there is less need for large offices where everyone has their own desk. Instead, one or multiple flexible work spaces situated in different locations can meet a company’s needs without breaking the bank.
Flexible workspaces are cost-effective alternatives to the commitment of lengthy contracts or the high-costs of securing prime locations for office space. At Uncommon, we specialise in designing calm yet creative co-working and private office spaces tailored towards modern businesses. Rent the space you need for an hour, a day, a millennium (okay, maybe not a millenium), all with no strings attached.
Private offices in our spaces offer the flexibility a company needs by providing meeting rooms in central London. Various spaces are available to make the big decisions. Dedicated desks and access to city-wide coworking spaces give coworkers and start ups the chance to work in calm, focused environments. All of our spaces are made to work best for you, designed to stimulate your creativity and heighten focus when you need it most. Swap the long, costly commute to an office for the tranquility of a coworking space closer to home.
The full monty
For the really adventurous, you could fully embrace remote working and say goodbye to wasted, unused office space forever. Just rent one of the thousands of meeting rooms across the UK to hold get-togethers. Whether it be for team briefing, client meetings or staff training. On-demand meeting rooms provide the traditional office framework without the associated costly restraints.
Taking this approach not only means reducing office costs and commuting time. Flexible office spaces can also make meetings logistically easier by choosing locations that suit both parties. Meet in the middle by selecting meeting spaces that suit you and your clients. Organise team catch-ups closer to coworkers’ homes to make everyone’s lives easier. By being smarter about where and why we commute, we can help make Monday something to look forward too, not dreaded.
Check out the meeting rooms in our coworking spaces and see how they have been designed specifically for flexible working with wellbeing in mind. We can make any meeting happen.