Transport User Voice – November 2021 – The future of commuting

29 October 2021

What will it look like?

Now that Covid restrictions have eased, what does the future of commuting look like?

We spoke to people who used to be regular commuters by rail, but whose jobs could now be done from home. These are commuters who can choose between how much they continue to work from home in future or get back on the train.

We found:

  • Less than one in 10 who were able to work from home said they thought they could see themselves going back to commuting five days a week.
  • The number that commute five days a week has significantly declined from 42 per cent before the pandemic to just six per cent.
  • Just over two thirds (68 per cent) say they will commute by rail for the remainder of 2021. 20 per cent say that they will not travel by rail at all or are unsure of their future commuting patterns.
  • Before March 2020, 55 per cent of those who used to commute by rail said that they worked from home occasionally. In future 91 per cent say they will continue to work from home some of the time.
  • Nearly eight out of 10 surveyed say their employer is supportive of staff working from home.

It appears that the traditional five-day week commute is unlikely to return, with a more hybrid style of working emerging instead.

Now that passengers have more flexibility on whether or how they travel, it’s more important than ever for train operators to step up to the mark and provide services that respond to the new demands in passengers travel, as well as being reliable and good value for money.

See the full report here.

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