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." 

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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