June 29th, 2016
Commuting times have grown for many people across the UK over recent years. An increasing number of employees spend an hour or even more travelling each way, while commuting times can be much worse in some areas such as London or other congested inner cities.
As a provider of serviced office space, Basepoint has conveniently-located business centres in towns including Chatham, High Wycombe and Swindon. Many small business owners decide to move to our business centres partly because they are getting fed up with losing time sitting in a train or a traffic jam, and decide to move to a more accessible location.
Problems with Commuting
A recent research study by the TUC showed that, nationally, more than 3 million people now commute for 2 hours or more each day – representing a rise of over 72% in a decade. Over the same time period, there has been an even steeper 75% rise in the numbers commuting for 3 hours or longer daily, with 880,000 commuters now falling into this bracket. When trains run late or there is heavy traffic congestion, commuting can easily take even longer, making staff arrive late for work.
Commuting for lengthy periods each day obviously takes away a large amount of a staff member’s leisure time. It is also expensive for the individual and potentially damaging for the environment through the pollution caused.
In health terms, long daily commutes can exacerbate conditions such as high blood pressure and back problems. Journeys also cause stress, which may be especially damaging for business owners. Often entrepreneurs tend to work long days and are usually the ones who have to stay late when work piles up. A lot of travel on top of already extended working hours can add up to a punishing schedule.
A long journey to the office can mean staff are already feeling tired when they arrive at work, affecting productivity. Travelling may also be a factor making it hard to recruit and retain staff. If a workplace is hard to get to, then employees may decide to work nearer their own homes instead.
What’s the Answer?
Offering more flexible hours can help to cut the amount of time spent commuting, and small businesses have shown the way forward in embracing these working practices. For instance, many companies find that staggered start and end times, avoiding 9am and 5pm, mean staff can get to and from the office more easily. Allowing employees to do some work from home, perhaps via mobile devices, is another way to cut out travelling.
Another option which may be helpful for many small businesses is to consider a move to a more convenient location, for instance close to the business owner’s home. However, actually working from your own home can often cause difficulties. These include finding you are unable to switch off at the end of the day, as it is harder to separate work and business life. A home-based business is also likely to be less accessible for customers and create a less professional image.
Also, unless you live in the same neighbourhood as all your staff, moving your business to your home could potentially cause a whole new set of commuter problems for them. It may be hard for them to get to work and park, and there may be no convenient public transport option, especially if you live in a remote area.
Often, a better answer is to find a suitable business location in your home area which is easily accessible for both your staff and customers. Serviced office spaces are becoming increasingly popular with small companies, because they offer an affordable way to move into a prime business location and also have the networking advantages of being alongside other small businesses. Basepoint’s business centres are all in excellent business locations, with wide-ranging facilities including car parking space and serviced meeting rooms.
If you do decide that working from home is the best option for your business at the moment, virtual offices from Basepoint can give you the support you need. By choosing one of our virtual packages, you will have a professional business address and a place to meet clients, plus access to other services including call answering. You will also be able to move into serviced office accommodation at the centre when the time is right for you.
Serviced Office Space – Follow the link to find out more about Basepoint’s locations and easy terms.