When it comes to lifestyle, how important is your journey to work? Are you happy to travel longer for a higher salary, or is your time too precious? Latest figures paint an interesting picture of how we get to work.
The topic of commuting is a bit of a sore subject in my household. My daily route to Which? HQ takes around 45 minutes; I’ve got plenty of options for getting in, but alas, none seem to make the journey any quicker.
My partner, on the other hand, has a five-minute walk (two if he gets on his bike, but hey, why bother?).
Still, I console myself with the fact that most people are in the same situation as me – after all, the trains are always rammed when I’m travelling to work. So I was shocked to hear that 46% of commuters get to work in 15 minutes or less – where exactly do these people live?
London commuting is a different story
Ah – there’s the rub. These latest government figures look at London compared to the rest of the UK – and guess what? In London, the percentage of people who get to work with a hop and a skip drops quite dramatically – to 18%. Still, that’s nearly one in five people who can roll out of bed and get into work before the toothpaste stains have dried.
The data, from the Office for National Statistics, may have just been released, but it was conducted around 18 months ago, which might explain the surprising results for which modes of transports are used for getting to work.
Predictably, commuting by car is almost twice as common (71%) if you live outside London. What I wouldn’t have guessed, though, is that fewer than 5% cycle and fewer than 20% use the underground in the capital. As someone who uses both those modes of transport to get to work, I assumed these figures would be much higher, especially now that many people have taken to two wheels in a bid to avoid rising train costs.
More travel means more money
What wasn’t a shock to me was to hear that people who commute longer earn more. Incorporating upwards of two hours’ travel and a hefty annual train ticket into your life is only worth it if the money’s good. Equally, those who earn less but have a shorter commute reap the benefits of getting up later and arriving home earlier.
I guess in an ideal world we’d all get to work in a few minutes and earn a good salary, but life doesn’t work like that. Jobs are often in areas we wouldn’t want to live – and even if we did, couldn’t always afford to (Regent’s Park is definitely out of my price range). And jobs come and go – basing where we live on where we work just isn’t practical anymore.
Or maybe that’s just the case in London? It’s not uncommon for people to move out of cities and take a salary drop for a better work/life balance, so maybe there is a trend to use shorter commutes as a deciding factor in where you live. What’s your preferred option – have you changed your lifestyle to reduce the number of hours you have to travel?
Would you prefer a big salary or a short commute?
A short commute (51%, 80 Votes)
A big salary (49%, 76 Votes)
Total Voters: 156