Smart Transport

Two-thirds no longer comfortable commuting via public transport

As the Covid-19 lockdown continues to ease, a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults has found about two-thirds (65%) do not feel comfortable commuting to work via public transport and think it will be one of the most stressful parts of their day.

The survey unveils sentiments from both the UK workforce and business leaders, with more than half (57%) of employees not wanting to go back to the 'normal' way of working in an office environment with 'normal' office hours.

More than a third (35%) believe going back to work in a traditional office environment will have a negative impact on their mental health, which in turn will negatively affect their productivity.

Despite these concerns, 24% say their employer hasn’t explored any flexible working options to help them or their colleagues return to work.

The survey also found:

  • More than a third (35%) will return to the office with a smaller team with people handling more varied responsibilities.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of finance teams will not be returning to the office with other employees this month and will now work at home for the majority of the time. 
  • Nearly a fifth (17%) will no longer be in a permanent office when they return to full-time work.

Chartered accountancy and consultancy firm Theta Financial Reporting conducted the survey. Its manging director Chris Biggs commented: "This research shows that the Government and large businesses alike have not done enough to consult the workforce on how safe they feel to return to work and whether the traditional environment works for them in a post-Covid world.

“Many businesses have adapted to working away from the office and with so many people caring for vulnerable relatives, friends and children, it seems people do not want to return in July, despite the easing of lockdown restrictions. This will have a significant impact on how our workplaces will look beyond lockdown. 

“From the commute to boosted productivity when working from home, there are numerous benefits to flexible working that this period has uncovered for millions of employers and employees alike. Business leaders would do well to realise this and adapt now to pivot their business, remove unnecessary overheads and plan for a post-Covid future." 

 Transport Minister Rachel Maclean

Virtual Smart Transport Conference 2020 presentations available to view now

After three packed days of content the first Virtual Smart Transport Conference has come to a close, but delegates can now gain free access to rewatch all the presentations during the show.

How to watch the presentations

Videos can be accessed by heading to the Agenda & Live Stream section of the Virtual Smart Transport Conference event website and choosing sessions to watch from across the three days.

The event featured thought leadership presentations from over 45 key stakeholders from the public and private sector, with opening statements from transport minister Rachel Maclean (pictured) and Mayor for Greater Manchester Combined Authority Andy Burnham.

Watch now



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