New global survey from Regus indicates increase in commuting cost
The new survey also indicates that working from home is not ideal for most workers since makeshift offices threaten both productivity and worker safety
April 14, 2015 – The cost of travelling to work has almost doubled over the past five years, with new research findings by global workplace provider Regus revealing that workers worldwide now spend an average of 5% of their net take-home income on their annual commute. The research also sheds light on the fact that more than half of the global workers have a home office, but having a fully equipped professional space at home is much rarer and businesses hardly ever foot the bill. The study surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people across more than 100 countries.
Global workers spent an average of 3% of their annual take home pay on their commute into work back in 2010, but the situation has now significantly worsened. Costs have risen even higher than the 5% average for workers in some parts of the world: in South Africa, Brazil, France, India and Mexico, for example, country averages have reached 6%. Businesses that want to retain and attract top talent cannot fail to address the issue of the expensive commute.
With regard to home working, a fifth of the respondents also report that it would take a whole month’s salary for them to fit out a professional working space within their home and only one third (34%) report that their firm has contributed to creating their home office, making a neat little saving for firms that encourage home working.
In sum the key research highlights are:
- In 2010 the average commuter spent 3% of take home salary on travel, this has now risen to 5% in 2015;
- In Mexico, South Africa and India commuters spend an average of 6% of annual income on travel;
- 79% of respondents confirm that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home do not cover all the costs of creating and maintaining that workspace;
- Almost half (49%) of the workers globally think that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home are simply trying to transfer the cost of having a workspace onto the employee.
Harsh Lambah, country manager for Regus in India, said, “With living costs rising, every penny counts for the world’s workers, yet travel expenses are accounting for a larger and larger slice of their yearly outgoings. Flexible working can provide a solution for maxed out employees. The financial benefits of remote working for both staff and employer are clear, yet many businesses are currently missing out on a valuable opportunity by failing to fully commit. Businesses that want to retain top talent need to urgently address reducing the cost of commuting by offering them the choice to work closer to home at least some of the time.”