Do you know why your employees only want to come in a few days a week?
Because of the commute.
According to Gallup, the top reason employees give for not wanting to return full-time to the office is that they do not like the commute and you cannot blame them. In 2019, the average one-way commute to work was approximately 27.6 minutes, resulting in a total of 55.2 minutes spent commuting each day. Considering the 260 working days in a year (in 2023), employees who go to the office every day would end up spending approximately 239.2 hours on their commute annually. To put it into perspective, this is equivalent to nearly 30 eight-hour workdays.
The time employees spend in traffic is typically not included in the 40-hour workweek. Instead, it crowds out leisure time. Research has found that people’s satisfaction with their leisure time declines significantly as their commute time increases, but that is not the only downside of the daily trip to and from work.
Long commutes bring about a multitude of repercussions, such as elevated blood pressure, tension, anger, stiff necks, fatigue, lower back pain, and even obesity. Commutes lasting around 30 minutes have been found to increase stress levels and anger, while commutes lasting 45 minutes or more are associated with lower overall well-being, daily mood, and health.
When you consider all the consequences of commuting, you start to wonder if it even makes sense to have a physical office anymore. Perhaps jobs that can be done remotely should just embrace the remote work model instead. But before you rush to terminate your tenancy, take a moment to read the paragraph below.
In-office days increase employee engagement
Humans are social creatures. We generally like to be with other people and we instinctively want close, trusting relationships - both in life and at work.
About three in 10 workers globally report having a best friend at work and in many well-run organizations, this figure is twice as high as the global average. An analysis of 100,000 business units suggests that employers should provide employees with an office environment that supports close relationships as business units with more bonded workers achieve both higher performance and lower turnover. But there is more.
Working from home has its benefits, but it does not allow people to socialize and bond the same way as in-office days. Studies show that two to three in-office days per week enhances both employee engagement and well-being. Five days in the office, however, relates to the lowest levels of engagement.
“We want to make it worth the commute”
One of our clients at MapsPeople is working hard to create an office experience that makes coming to the office worth the commute.
To compensate for the leisure time lost in traffic, the office offers convenient amenities for employees to enjoy. These include a hair salon and a gym, accessible at any time. Additionally, there are dedicated spaces such as a sleeping room and a recovery room for people arriving from abroad, ensuring a comfortable transition. And for those seeking relaxation, there's a cozy café where you can unwind while savoring a delightful cup of coffee.
Transforming your office from a traditional office to an employee-centric office is of course not cheap but neither is the unused office space that comes with hybrid work. That is why organizations are increasingly focusing on optimizing their prime offices while reducing the focus on - or eliminating - their non-prime offices. The trend is called flight of quality.
If you want to ensure that your employees stay engaged, happy, and productive, step number one is to create a hybrid work environment that actually works. Employees need a solution such as an indoor mapping platform that allows them to see, find, and book available desks and meeting rooms in real time. Enabling them to see the location of co-workers and book a workspace next to them boosts collaboration but also social time and bonding.
A mapping platform integrates with both third-party systems and IoT and sensor devices, creating an endless amount of use cases. If you want to know more about how you can make your office worth the commute with indoor mapping, reach out to us for a chat or a demo.